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Police locate two children after Amber Alert

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigate announced they had located the children roughly 90 minutes after an Amber Alert was first issued.

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STURGIS, S.D. — Authorities in South Dakota canceled an Amber Alert after locating two children believed to have been brought to South Dakota by a Canadian sex offender.

The Amber Alert originated in Canada on Monday, when authorities with Saskatchewan's Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as part of an investigation, discovered 50-year-old Benjamin Moore, his common law partner and her two children were no longer at their residence.

Authorities in South Dakota issued an Amber Alert late Tuesday evening after receiving credible information that the suspect may have brought the two children, who are 7- and 8-years-old, across the international border and into the state.

According to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the safety of the children was believed to be in danger, and an order was in place to return the custody of the children to Canadian authorities.

South Dakota's Amber Alert lasted roughly 90 minutes before the DCI announced the children had been located.

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The Meade County Sheriff's Office, based in Sturgis, posted to Facebook announcing the children had been "safely recovered," and credited cooperation between multiple law enforcement agencies for the recovery.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police acknowledged that the children, as well as Moore and his partner, had been taken into the custody of authorities in South Dakota.

Canadian police label Moore a sex offender

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, approximately 10 hours before the children were located, Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mountain Police Chief Supt. Tyler Bates said Canadian authorities have reason to believe the children were in danger.

"We believe that Luna and Hunter are in danger in the presence of Benjamin Moore and we want to locate them as quickly as possible to ensure that they're brought home safely," Bates said. "I can confirm that evidence was discovered ... [that] before police were able to question him, Benjamin, Leah and the children had vacated their residence."

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Benjamin Moore

Bates continued to add that Moore is a registered sex offender, but that he failed to provide authorities with an update to his registration, leading to a warrant being issued for his arrest.

"Benjamin Moore has a history of sexual offenses against children — vulnerable persons — and has also previously been convicted of sexual interference and possession of child pornography," Bates said.

After the alert was issued, Bates noted that an additional report had come forward alleging abuse from Moore.

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"Following the Amber Alert, one individual has reported an incident involving Benjamin Martin Moore to police. We are encouraging anyone else who may have been a victim of Benjamin Moore to file a report with police," Bates said. "We take these matters very seriously, and we want to ensure that survivors are supported.

It is unclear what plans the two countries have for extradition as well as what charges Moore may face when returned to Canadian custody.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021. After over a year in Mitchell, he moved to Milwaukee, where he now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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