Sheriff: 2 young children found abandoned in Oneco; deputies searching for father

June 12, 2013 

MANATEE -- Deputies were looking for a man who apparently abandoned his 4-year-old twin sons, who later were found wandering in an Oneco neighborhood late Tuesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies have prepared a capias request charging their father, Dominick Hawkins, with child neglect. He has not been located, according to the sheriff's office.

The children were found by a woman in the front yard of her home in the 300 block of 60th Avenue East about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to a news release.

"The children were in hysterics, saying they had been with their father who had entered a home somewhere in the Oneco area, leaving them unattended outside of the residence," the release states. "Eventually the children wandered off, became lost and were located by (the woman)."

The children were able to give deputies only their first names, and a canvas of the neighborhood was unsuccessful in locating their parents. Child Protective Services took the children into custody.

Early Wednesday, the children's mother called the sheriff's office to report that her children were missing.

She said she had gone out to do laundry and had left the children with Hawkins. When she returned, they were gone, according to the sheriff's office.

"Deputies were told the father has a drug problem," sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said.

The investigation is continuing.

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