Mom, children missing since Sunday in St. Martin Parish found by authorities

Trio disappeared Sunday in woods during 4-wheeler excursion

The woman and two children who were missing since Sunday, prompting the large multi-agency search of the densely wooded area of St. Martin Parish where they were last seen, have been found.

According to the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, Heather Gary, 25, her son Landon Sonnier, 4, and Taylin Touchek, 4, the daughter of a man Gary is dating, were found

The children were found in good health, but no other information was available.

The trio went missing after a four-wheeler excursion Sunday, prompting a multi-agency law enforcement search Monday involving helicopters, K-9 search teams, and police on foot and all-terrain vehicles combing an area between Parks and St. Martinville, an official said.

Gary and the children were riding a four-wheeler with Gary’s boyfriend when it became stuck in mud at about 3:30 p.m. Gary’s boyfriend, whom St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Maj. Ginny Higgin did not identify, took off on foot for help.

When the boyfriend returned with help at about 5 p.m., Gary and the kids were not with the four-wheeler.

“It’s in an area that’s very, very dense,” Higgins said.

Higgins said Gary’s boyfriend lives in the area and that the four were at his home Sunday when all four hopped on the four-wheeler and went riding.

According to the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, Gary was seen walking with the children on Joel Blanchard Road at about 4:15 p.m. Sunday.

State Police, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and K-9 search teams from Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel joined in the search, Higgins said.