RABUN COUNTY, Ga. - After nearly a week-long intensive search, a Rabun County mother and her three sons have been found safe, according to deputies.
Brittany Rebecca Stewart, 28, and her three boys, between 7 months to 7 years old, were last seen March 23. The family was safely located in Banks County Wednesday afternoon at the Walmart at Banks Crossing.
Investigators with the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately release why the family had disappeared.
Search efforts expanded Monday to include two other states and focused on the Greenville, S.C. area.
“Those children are the most important thing that's why we jumped on it as quickly as we did and got the information out to the public because of the children,” Rabun County Sheriff Chad Nichols said earlier in the week.
Sheriff Nichols said the children’s grandparents picked up the 7-year-old boy from Rabun County Primary School Thursday afternoon. Stewart then met her parents to pick him up at the Andy's Market in town with her two other sons in tow. The sheriff said she then vanished.
The next day a family members reported them missing.
They were last spotted by a gas station say at a Habersham County gas station Friday.
“The clerk contacted us to let us know she seen the children. Everyone looked fine. Our eyes want to see her and the children just to make sure they are safe,” said Sheriff Nichols.
Sierrah Justus, who described herself as a lifelong friend of Stewart spoke to FOX 5 News from her home near Statesboro in south Georgia.
“The people I know are close to her who I talked to today say she has been a little bit not herself like she's been kind of out of it,” Justus wrote.
She and hundreds of others from Florida to Alabama and beyond are watching the case on social media. They also notice Stewart has not been logged in for a while.
“She hasn't been on Facebook since 2016, that’s kind of alerting because usually she was very active on Facebook; that’s how we used to keep in contact,” said Justus.
She said she and friends all over Clayton and Rabun County are praying for the safe return of Britney Stewart and her three boys.
“My concern for the boys is nobody has seen them. We just want to know if the boys are OK,” said Justus.