Missing toddlers from Florida found unharmed in Milwaukee, WI park

ByHannah Hilyard, WISN
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Missing toddlers from Florida found unharmed in Wisconsin park
Delyla and Dekarsen Middleton, who were reported missing in Florida, were found unharmed in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin park.

MILWAUKEE -- A 2-year-old and a 1-year-old reported missing out of Florida have been found abandoned but unharmed in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin park.

Family members traveled nearly a thousand miles to come to get them.

"Ready to see my babies," the children's grandmother Tina Leach said.

The frantic family from Florida rushed in through a set of Wisconsin doors Monday afternoon, and came out holding their babies a little tighter after an agonizing weekend.

"We've been on the road since 4 o'clock yesterday. We drove 17 hours to get here. We would have walked if we had to," Leach told WISN.

Sunday evening, Milwaukee police said they found two children, Dekarsen and Delyla Middleton, abandoned at a park.

It turns out they were the same siblings missing out of Florida's panhandle.

"Took our babies from Florida and along with my daughter's truck," Leach said.

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The Bay County, Florida Sheriff's Office identified two suspects as close family friend Adalyn Burkett and her boyfriend, Marquan Edwards.

The sheriff's office said "the mother reported that Burkett was supposed to babysit her two children overnight. The mother also allowed Burkett to use her vehicle for the night with the agreement that Burkett would return the vehicle the morning of June 24th."

But they never returned and were instead on their way to Milwaukee.

"Her boyfriend had family members up here," Leach said.

"And she was in foster care here before she turned 18," the children's aunt Aleia Leach said.

Law enforcement said the two suspects are now in custody, as the two little ones are reunited with their family.

"I'm excited! I'm happy! I'm ready to get them home to their momma," Tina Leach said.

U.S. Marshals tracked down Burkett and Edwards at a home in Milwaukee.

They face charges in Florida for allegedly taking the kids and car, and Milwaukee police are investigating them for allegedly abandoning the kids in the park.

They said they'll be referring charges to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.