Missing Volo mom Aneta Marsek and her two young children were found safe in the Wisconsin Dells late Sunday after the mother walked into a gas station and asked the attendant to call 911.
Marsek and the children had been reported missing for more than one week, and law enforcement agencies from throughout Northern Illinois had begun searching ponds between Wauconda and Volo searching for them.
Lake County Sheriff's officials said Marsek told authorities she and her children had been living in her Chevrolet Trailblazer in a secluded wooded area near the Dells because "she had to get away."
The 33-year-old mother, of 261 N. Cornerstone Dr., Volo, walked into a gas station in the Wisconsin Dells shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, and asked the attendant to call 911, police said.
The woman identified herself to arriving officers as Aneta Marsek, and told them she believed people were looking for her and that she had been reported missing, according to a Lake County Sheriff's office press release.
Marsek lead Wisconsin Dells Police to her vehicle, where her two children, 2-year-old Chevelle and 4-month-old Macenzie, were located. She told police she had been living in her vehicle in the secluded wooded area off County Road H and Fitzgerald Road since arriving in the Dells days earlier.
Mother and children were transported by rescue services to St. Clair Hospital in Baraboo. Both children were found to be in good health and released into the custody of their father, Dan Marsek.
Anita Marsek was then transported to Winnebago Mental Health Facility in Oshkosh.
Dan Marsek, Anita's estranged husband had reported his wife and children missing on Oct. 10. He told authorities he had not seen or heard from his wife since Oct. 6. She was last seen leaving her parents' home in Wauconda, according to police.
The sheriff's office has requested the Lake County State's Attorney review the case for possible charges.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office used every available resource to find the mother and children including air and water search teams. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent out 9,000 faxes of fliers with their photos and information, and an alert was issued to truck drivers in six states, said police.
In a statement by Marsek, Lake County Sheriff's detectives learned she did not leave the Volo area until the morning of Monday, Oct. 8. According to police, Marsek said she needed to “get away” and that the Dells area reminded her of “childhood memories”.
“I would like to commend our many divisions of the Sheriff’s Office that put their heart and souls into locating Anita and her children,” said Sheriff Mark Curran.
“We want to thank the entire law enforcement community, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, friends and family of the missing and the media for their assistance and overwhelming support in their attempts to help us locate Anita and her two children. We are relieved that this had a good ending," said Curran.