Missing, endangered Menominee Reservation children found safe

Sapatis Mahkimetas Pyawasay, Shawn Pyawasay, Jeffrey Pyawasay
Sapatis Mahkimetas Pyawasay, Shawn Pyawasay, Jeffrey Pyawasay(Wisconsin DOJ)
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 7:29 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 5:11 PM CDT
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KESHENA, Wis. (WBAY) - The Menominee Tribal Police Department says three missing children who were considered endangered have been found and are safe.

The Menominee tribal chief says the boys are back with relatives, and Family Services was with them Wednesday evening. He explained this all happened due to a misunderstanding.

The Wisconsin Crime Alert Network issued an Endangered Missing Person Alert on Tuesday for Sapatis Mahkimetas Pyawasay, age 11, Jeffrey Pyawasay, age 10, and Shawn Pyawasay, age 1 1/2. The children were last seen Friday, March 11 on the Menominee Reservation. They were placed in the care of relatives after being removed from the home of their biological parents by Brown County Social Services.

Authorities believed the children were back with their biological parents, Tara Mahkimetas, 30, and John Kassube, 44, which would violate a “Child in Need of Protective Service” order. We were not told what led to the parents losing custody.

The chief said the relatives misunderstood the conditions of the protective placement and released the children to the parents. We’re told this happened in Brown County and there was no reason to believe the children were taken against their will.

The chief said the mother is in Keshena but they don’t know where the father is.

We’re told it’s now up to the tribal prosecutor to decide whether to take any action.

Earlier we talked with Menominee Nation Chairman Ron Corn about this case and how it affects every tribe member.

“We are a very close knit -- I’d say family almost. Us Menominee members here and a lot of us have been raised here, grew up here all of our lives, not just most of it. We have those strong bonds and strong connections.”

Police did not immediately release any details about how or where the boys were found.

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