Person missing

Dreamstime

Public asked to help find 5 missing children believed to be taken by their mother

The kids' father is in custody for a reported homicide in Fargo, see photos of kids here

September 30, 2018 - 9:19 am
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The children of a Fargo, ND man who's in custody in connection with a homicide are missing, and authorities believe their mother took them from a relative's home in southeastern Minnesota late Saturday night.  

Authorities in Minnesota are seeking five children missing along with their mother, who is the wife of a murder suspect.

The Mower County Sheriff's Office is asking for help finding 39-year-old Izetta Cooley and her five children, ages 10 to 17.

Cooley had picked up 10-year-old Mateo and 11-year-old Mollycia from a relative's home in Mower County, and it was believed 16-year-old Morgan was with her.

Authorities say they "strongly suspect 13-year-old Mojo and 17-year-old Marco, two other Cooley siblings, were also with their mother.

Those two children reportedly were not seen with Izetta Cooley.

Authorities say Cooley is under court order not to have contact with her children, but she came to a home in Rose Creek where they were staying and took three of them.

Cooley's husband, 44-year-old Miguel Cooley of Moorhead, is accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Gabriel Perez outside a McDonald's restaurant in Fargo, North Dakota, on Sept. 23.

Miguel Cooley was later arrested in southeastern Minnesota.

Authorities say Izetta Cooley and her children may be in Minnesota but also may be traveling in South Dakota or North Dakota.

The woman's address is listed in Moorhead, but it's not known where she is headed. The kids and their mother are believed to be traveling in a black 2007 Suzuki XL-7, with Minnesota license plate 103WJC.  

"We suspect, due to the long travels, that she likely is someplace where her car could easily be parked, and not stand out," said Mower County sheriff's investigator Steve Sandvik.

The children were under a protective court order and staying at a relative's home in Rose Creek.

Mower County sheriffs arrived at the home and could not find the children or Cooley, leading to a crime alerts that listed the kids as missing.

Mateo and Mollycia Cooley were inside the home, and a third, Marco, was with their mother when she arrived at 10:40 p.m. Saturday.

If you see them, the BCA wants you to call 9-1-1. 

Izetta Cooley is listed as 5-feet, 4 inches, 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.

Here are photos of Cooley and the two younger children, courtesy the Minnesota BCA:

Izeta Cooley
Izeta Cooley

Mateo Cooley
Mateo Cooley

Mollycia Cooley
Mollycia Cooley
Sandvik says the woman had not been facing any previous charges.

"Not pending, but now she is wanted for deprived parental rights by taking children against the court order, under Minnesota statutes," he said.

The children's father, 44-year-old Miguel Cooley, was arrested last Monday in Mower County, in connection with the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man at a Fargo McDonald's restaurant. 

Police say Cooley surrendered to SWAT team members after he was ordered out of the house.

He remains in the Mower County Jail.

Last Friday, a seventh district judge in western Minnesota signed an order for immediate protective custody of the children by Clay County social services.