UPDATE: Children allegedly abducted in Niagara, found safe

Police in Niagara now looking for a car like this in connection with an Amber Alert

Police in say five missing children that were allegedly abducted by their father have been found safe.

Niagara Regional Police say officers found the 49-year-old man and his five children in a rental cottage in Fort Erie, on Wednesday afternoon after spotting his vehicle in the driveway.

They say the children are safe and are being cared for.

The father, who police say is not currently under arrest, was found with a 22-year-old woman.

The force's child abuse unit is investigating.

Police issued, and later cancelled, an Amber Alert on Tuesday afternoon after the children were reported to have been missing since late September.

On Tuesday afternoon, an alert was sent out regarding MacDermid, and his five children. 

They were reportedly last seen in Jordan, Ontario, west of St. Catharines.

They had ties to Toronto and it was thought that MacDermid may have headed there, although the original vehicle he was potentially operating was a beige or gold pickup truck. 

"He was observed in the Niagara Region, so that certainly puts the Niagara Region back into front and centre," Gavin said. "Having access to a car obviously between 5 p.m. and today, still a lot of ground can be covered." 

"We still ask people in the outlying areas to remain vigilant and now that we have a plate, be aware of the plate and if you see it, contact us." 

RUMOUR CONTROL 

"We've going to identify any rumour control issues that we need to do from yesterday," Gavin said. "They (communications) were inundated with probably four times the normal amount of calls that they receive in an hour."

The tip about the red car was a direct result of the alert.

It's believed MacDermid took them from the family home sometime between September 19th and 25th, but it's unclear why NRPS were only alerted recently.  

"The timeline prior to that, that's not really for me to speak to," Gavin said, saying it's for Ontario Child and Family Services to address. 

The alert ended after five hours after it was issued, which is standard procedure Gavin says and that it accomplished its desired effect. 

One of the other points of confusion is the children were under a temporary custody order and the father broke it. 

Amber Alerts are generally not used regarding custody battles, but Gavin said this is beyond that. 

"This isn't a custody dispute, we have reason to believe from our investigation, receving information from family and children's services that the welfare and safety of the children is a concern," he said.