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UPDATE: Missing woman, kids found safe near Big Bend

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:02:37 AM CST   Updated On: Oct 05 2013 01:47:21 PM CDT
UPDATE: Missing woman, kids found safe near Big Bend

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office has located a woman and three children who were reported missing near Big Bend late Friday.

According to investigators, they were supposed to have ridden a bus from the Oak Run area at approximately 6:30 a.m. to the Indian Springs School in Big Bend to attend an event, and were supposed to return home around 3:00 p.m.

School personnel told deputies they did not ride the bus.

Early Saturday morning, following unsuccessful efforts to locate the woman and children using a helicopter, search and rescue crews were called to the area.

Just as they were about to begin their efforts, the Sheriff's office received a call from a residence, advising them the woman and three children had just shown up at the location.

Deputies made contact with them - and determined they were fine.

According to investigators, the woman, Julie Gobel, 47, had decided to drive the children to and from the school function rather than ride with them on the bus, and on the way home, detoured to a rock quarry, which is controlled by a gate.

That gate was open when they drove in, but closed and locked when they tried to leave, according to deputies.

Efforts to find another way out led to their car getting stuck in the mud.

Deputies say the woman was unfamiliar with the area, and with no cell service, decided to stay put with the children. They apparently built a small fire to keep warm, and slept in the car overnight.

Once there was daylight, investigators say the woman and three children hiked about a mile through the woods until they found a home on Neebs Road.

There - they were taken in and cared for while deputies responded to retrieve them.