Wanted sex offender found with 4 missing children in Louisiana

Joseph Moreno, 37, and Penny Rascon, 37 (Louisiana State Police)

NEW ORLEANS (WCMH/AP) — Louisiana state police say four children listed as missing in California have been found and two adults have been arrested, including a man wanted for alleged lewd acts with a child.

State police say in a news release troopers found the man, woman and children in Acadia Parish early Sunday, acting on information from the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The children were ages 4, 6, 7 and 8.

The man, 37-year-old Joseph F. Moreno, was arrested on a warrant out of Dos Palos, California, listing three counts of “lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14.”

The woman, 37-year-old Penny L. Rascon, was arrested on a child abduction charge.

Both were jailed pending extradition to California. The children were released to Louisiana family services personnel.

Troopers say the children were hungry and had not bathed in several days. They immediately purchased food and drinks for all four children and transported them to headquarters. They children were then given blankets, pillows, and toys to play with.

“This is an excellent example of Troopers working hand in hand with law enforcement across the nation to help those in need,” Col. Mike Edmonson, Louisiana’s state police superintendent, said in a release. “The successful recovery of these four children is proof that law enforcement partnerships work. Troopers will continue to work with our established partners to seek out and bring to justice those who wish to harm our children.”

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