Missing mother, daughter found safe, mother taken into custody for false report

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CHARITON COUNTY, Mo. — The mother and daughter who were reported missing on Thursday of last week were found safe in Linn County, Mo.

The Chariton County Sheriff confirmed Rachel Koechner and Zoee Sandner were found in Linn County. Also with them was Koechner ex-husband, Devon Sandner, who was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

Koechner was also taken into custody for filing a false report related to the incident. Her daughter is now in child protective services.

On Monday, police had nearly caught up with the trio at a Blue Springs, Mo., motel.

According to the sheriff, Koechner called her current boyfriend Monday morning and said she was fine and that people should stop looking for her. However, the boyfriend said the answer sounded scripted.

The call was traced to the Nights Inn in Blue Springs. When the sheriff called the motel, the clerk said the family was in front of him checking out so he put the 28-year-old woman on the phone. She made it clear to the sheriff she could not talk freely.

The sheriff called Blue Springs, Mo., police, but by the time officers arrived the trio was gone.

“What’s frustrating is you know you probably two seconds before the call came out that you drive right by them and you didn’t know you were looking for them, especially here in Jefferson. They had to drive by somebody up here, and they certainly had to drive by a police person down there at some point —  if we just would’ve gotten the information a little faster,” said Detective Jeremy Dickstein.

Police said it was obvious the family left the motel in a hurry because there were still clothes and other personal items in the room. They were set to stay in the hotel until March 21, authorities said.

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