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7 missing children found 'unharmed' and 'in good spirits' with estranged dad

Seven children who were reported missing Saturday from their Fresno, Calif., home were found with their estranged father Thursday, police said.

"The children were unharmed and were all in good spirits," a Fresno Police Department spokesman said early Friday.

Police said they had left the kids in the custody of their father, Xa Yang, in Sacramento, while an investigation is conducted. Sacramento is about 170 miles north of Fresno.

On Thursday, police said Yang had previously not had contact with the children for more than three years.

They lived with their mother and stepfather, who left them alone Saturday evening and went grocery shopping, police said. When the couple returned to their apartment complex, all seven children were gone, as were their belongings.

Police said then that there were no serious concerns about the children's safety.

The FBI Task Force for Violent Crimes Against Children was called in to assist, however, and its agents found Yang and the four boys and three girls, ages 12, 11, 10, 8, 7, 6 and 5.

The children were thought all along to have been with their father, police said, but they did not know where he lived. 

The Fresno police spokesman said he did not have information about the parents' custodial rights or why the children were left with their father instead of being returned to their mother.

"Fresno and Sacramento PD will investigate further to determine if a crime was committed," he added.

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Cops believe estranged father took 7 missing California kids