Sedalia Police, Sedalia Fire, Sedalia Sewer Department, Pettis County Fire Pettis County deputies, PCAD and the Missouri State Highway Patrol spent about two hours Monday evening searching the area for two young children allegedly swept away in a drainage ditch before learning the report was unfounded and may have been a cruel hoax perpetrated by juveniles.

Police were called to the 1200 block of West 9th just after 5:30 p.m. after a caller reported seeing young children playing in a drainage ditch at 9th and Park and heard yelling coming from the ditch. Sedalia was receiving a heavy downpour at the time due to scattered thunderstorms in the area.

Responding officers spoke with juveniles in the area who said they saw two young kids playing in the ditch and feared they might have been swept away by the water.

That prompted a massive response from local emergency personnel, who thoroughly examined every drainage ditch in the area, while Pettis County Fire set up in the county northwest of Sedalia in an attempt to locate the missing kids.

One Pettis County firefighter was busy searching Brushy Creek in a kayak.

Members of the general public reportedly joined in the search as well, according to a press release from the SPD issued around 9 p.m.

“Further investigation showed the incident to be unfounded,” the release concluded.

Randy Kirby