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The Latest: Arkansas toddler found dead, 2nd child missing

MENA, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on two relatives found dead and missing children in Arkansas (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Investigators say one of two Arkansas children reported missing after their mother’s body was found in a creek has been found dead, and teams are still searching for the other child.

Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer says the body of 2-year-old Acelynn Wester was found in a heavily wooded area Friday near the town of Cove, not far from where her mother’s body was located earlier this week.

The children’s great-uncle was found dead Thursday at his home in a nearby town.

The deaths are being investigated as homicides.

Sawyer says the girl’s 9-year-old brother, Reilly Scarbrough, is still missing. The sheriff says officers from eight agencies are searching for him.

The children hadn’t been seen since at least Sunday.

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3:45 p.m.

Arkansas authorities say the great-uncle of two missing children has been found dead in his home not far from where the body of the children’s mother was found in a creek earlier this week.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says 66-year-old Steven Payne was found dead Thursday in his home in Hatfield in far western Arkansas.

Hatfield is about 4 miles southwest of where the body of Payne’s niece — 43-year-old Bethany Jo Wester of Mena — was found this week.

Sheriff Scott Sawyer told reporters the deaths are being investigated as homicides and the search continues for Wester’s two children, 9-year-old Reilly Scarbrough and 2-year-old Acelynn Wester.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says the children were last seen late last week. Authorities say they’re considered endangered.

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