WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — The search for two missing children that involved more than 100 law enforcement officers, as well as helicopters, drones and K-9 units, ended late Monday afternoon after the children were safely located near Victory Christian Academy.

The children, Samuel Orshonsky, 9, and his sister, Charley Orshonsky, 7, approached a citizen at 4:27 p.m. walking the perimeter of the school's north campus at county roads 360 North and 325 East, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Department.

The children told officers they had been hiding in a pine tree near the school, and hid their bags under some leaves, the release states.

The discovery ended a massive search effort involving almost a dozen government agencies that organized after the children were reported missing from their home in the area of Streamwood Drive and County Road 325 East.

The siblings, who were last seen at midnight Sunday at the home, were not habitual runaways, but the 9-year-old son had a spat with family members Sunday night and threatened to run away, according to sheriff's department Sgt. Jamie Erow.

Involved in the search were the Washington Township Fire Department, Porter County Search and Rescue and its K-9 unit, Valparaiso Police Department heat sensor and drone equipment, the FBI, Indiana Conservation Department, Indiana State Police and its K-9 unit, Hobart Police Department, Lake County Sheriff's Department helicopter and Porter County Sheriff's Department drone unit.

The sheriff's department expressed gratitude in the press release to area residents, who shared news of the children's disappearance on social media and sent food and water to the Washington Township Fire Department. 

"We are pleased with a happy outcome, and everyone goes home safe," Erow said. 

A Child is Missing protocol was activated.

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Porter County reporter

Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She is the municipal and education reporter for Porter County. She is an amateur genealogist and writes a blog, Remember your Roots, appearing online each Thursday.

Courts and social justice reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.