Seven California children missing, believed abducted by father

FRESNO, California Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:11pm EST

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FRESNO, California (Reuters) - Seven children from northern California, who have been missing for five days, are believed to have been abducted by their estranged father while their mother was out grocery shopping, police said on Thursday.

The children's mother and stepfather left their 12-year-old son to mind the other six siblings while the couple went grocery shopping on Saturday evening, Fresno police spokesman Sergeant Jaime Rios said in a telephone interview.

When the couple returned, the children were missing and their clothing and luggage were gone, police said.

Investigators believe the children's biological father, Xa Yang, took them, Rios said, adding that Xa Yang was divorced from the children's mother and was believed to be living in Sacramento.

Police in Sacramento and Fresno were working jointly on the case.

(Reporting by Stephen Keleher; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Bernadette Baum)

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