From staff and wire reports

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Two children taken from a northern Florida home were found safein Brookhaven, authorities said Wednesday.

An Amber Alert, called off early today, had been issued forLoretta Swearingin, 17, and Jonathan Sampson, 12, the CalhounCounty, Fla., Sheriff’s Office said.

Florida law enforcement officers said Edkah Marshall, 19, tookthe children Tuesday and traveled to Mississippi to visit arelative, who then alerted authorities.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Swearingin called her mother and told her she was OK, thesheriff’s office said.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said the two childrenwould return to Florida this morning with their parents andgrandparents.

Marshall signed a waiver of extradition about 8:45 a.m. thismorning and was expected to be transferred to Florida by the end ofthe day, Henderson said.

Officials with Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office said Marshallabducted the children the fatal shooting of his grandmother.Marshall was taken into custody in Brookhaven, but charges were notimmediately known, a Calhoun County sheriff’s dispatcher saidWednesday.

In the Lincoln County Jail docket, Marshall was listed as asuspect in a double homicide.

Brookhaven police became involved in the investigation whennotified by Florida authorities that Marshall was in the area,Henderson said.

“The information they gave us about where they were staying wasprovided to them by someone here in Brookhaven,” Hendersonsaid.

Police Det. Bobby Bell found Marshall at Lincoln Motel and keptthe room under surveillance, the chief said. When Marshall and thechildren returned to the room around midnight last night, officersmade the arrest.

“They were to make the arrest without incident,” Hendersonsaid.

Florida authorities said evidence needed in the case may befound in Marshall’s vehicle, Henderson said, so the vehicle wastowed to the Mississippi Highway Patrol station on Highway 84,where it was sealed.

“They’re going to take it back to Florida this morning,” thechief said. “They’re sending a flatbed truck for it.”

Sampson, the 12-year-old, is Marshall’s uncle, the CalhounCounty Sheriff’s Office said. No further details on therelationship or the crimes were released.