Missing Newton family found in Arizona: Police
by: Scarlett O’Hara, Bradley Zimmerman
NEWTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A family that disappeared more than two months ago from Newton has been found safe in Arizona, police said.
In a press release, officials said Stephen, Monica, Aiden and Nicholas Lutz were found in Cochise County, the southeastern-most part of the state. Their location was eventually narrowed down thanks to automated license plate readers and the Arizona State Police.
A deputy made contact with Monica and the boys; Stephen was not present. The deputy told Newton Police Chief Riley Britton that the boys appeared to be healthy, and that Monica told him where Stephen could be found.
Britton then personally spoke over the phone with Stephen, who stated that the family had relocated to Arizona and had no plans of returning to Newton.
Newton Police thanked everyone who assisted in any way with the search for the Lutzs.
“We are relieved to have made contact with the family and are thankful that they are safe,” Britton said.
Gia Wright, President of the Missing Persons Awareness Network, said on Facebook that she was informed of the news from the Lutzs’ adult daughter Brittany. Wright, however, wants to make sure the boys are safe.
“I’m not confident that these kids are ok,” she said. “I’d like to know that, of course, but just make sure these kids are ok. It’s what we said at the beginning.”
However, she is still ecstatic by the news that the Lutzs have been found alive.
“It is still not resonating with me, but I have to say that is full excitement,” Wright said. “This is a huge shock. It’s great news.”
Read the full statement from Chief Britton below;
Family Located Safe
Stephen, Monica, Aiden and Nicholas have been located in Cochise County in Arizona. With the assistance of license plate readers and the state police, the location of the family was narrowed down to the aforementioned area.
A deputy first made contact with Monica and the boys without Stephen present. All members of the family are safe.
The deputy stated that the boys appear healthy and Monica informed him of where to find Stephen. Shortly after the deputy made contact with Stephen, the deputy contacted Chief Britton. The chief was able to personally speak with Stephen over the phone. Stephen stated they have relocated and have no plans of returning to Newton.
The City of Newton police department would like to thank everyone who assisted in any way with the search for this family. Chief Britton states, “We are relieved to have made contact with the family and are thankful that they are safe.”
NEWTON POLICE CHEIF RILEY BRITTON