A mother is on the run with at least three of her children in defiance of a court order, and her husband is in jail on a murder charge, authorities in southern Minnesota said Sunday.
The Mower County Sheriff's Office is trying to find Izetta Cooley, 39, and 10-year-old Mateo, 11-year-old Mollycia and 16-year-old Morgan.
Authorities "strongly suspect" that two other Cooley children, Mojo, 13, and Marco, 17, are with their mother, said Sgt. Steve Sandvik of the Mower County Sheriff's Office, though they haven't been seen with her.
The mother "is court-ordered not to have contact with the children [and] came to the residence they were staying at and took them," a statement from the Sheriff's Office read. "Because of recent events, authorities are concerned for their welfare."
Sandvick said he has no knowledge that the children are in imminent danger.
Cooley's husband, Miguel J. Cooley Sr., 44, is in the Mower County jail on a murder charge. Cooley, of Moorhead, fatally shot a 20-year-old man sitting on a curb outside a McDonald's restaurant on Main Avenue in Fargo, according to the Cass County District Attorney's Office.
Authorities said jealousy appears to be the motive for the shooting on Sept. 23, given that a phone number belonging to Izetta Cooley was found in the bedroom of the shooting victim, 20-year-old Gabriel Perez.
The children were last seen in Rose Creek, southeast of Austin, about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, the Sheriff's Office said. They are believed to be traveling in a black 2007 Suzuki XL7 with Minnesota license plate 103 WJC.
A sixth Cooley child, Maryssa, 15, was taken into custody by Clay County on Friday. The county's social services department is in charge of her placement.
Izetta Cooley is American Indian, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 180 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair. Her residence is in Moorhead, but authorities say they are unsure of her destination.
Anyone with information about their location is urged to call the Sheriff's Office at 1-507-437-9400 or 911.