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Georgia woman nabbed in LA; kids found safe

January 5, 2011 12:31:51 AM PST
Three missing children from Georgia have been found safe. They were spotted in a car with their mother on the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica Wednesday morning.Carol Hogan's cross-country journey ended in a beach parking lot in Santa Monica Wednesday. Her time in Southern California started Monday when she pulled up and checked into the Union Rescue Mission in downtown L.A.

The mission staff began to assess the family's needs. Union Mission's Executive Director, Andy Bales, said the 28-year-old mother's story of being the victim of domestic violence in Georgia wasn't panning out.

"The kids' story was a little different than the mom's story," said Bales. "And so our team here at Union Rescue Mission alerted the Department of Children and Family Services, alerted the LAPD. They came and interviewed the mom, and I think the mom felt a little heat and left first thing in the morning."

That was Tuesday morning. Wednesday, Hogan and her 11-, 4- and 3-year-old kids were spotted by a California Highway Patrol officer driving along the 10 Freeway in their red minivan with Georgia license plates.

Hogan was detained. Her children were taken into protective custody by the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.

"The kids are safe, that's the important thing, the thing that pleases me today, the kids are safe," said Bales. "They're going to get a wellness check here at our clinic later on today, and the story turned out well."

Hogan will be given a mental evaluation. If she's deemed OK, she's free to go back to Georgia or stay in Los Angeles. Her children will be taken back to Georgia. Hogan is not facing any charges.

"It was never an abduction. There was never a kidnapping," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon. "Georgia sought the protective order for the kids after they found out the mother left the state with them. Georgia authorities there had wanted the woman to undergo drug testing and some evaluations, and she left without doing that."

Hogan reportedly left one of her four children with authorities and Georgia before departing for California with the other three.