Police: Two missing dads, three children found safe in Prairie

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Police say two missing dads and their three children have been found safe Sunday evening in Prairie, Idaho.

According to police, 38-year-old John Julian and his two children, 8-year-old Samantha and 7-year-old Isaac, along with 34-year old Will Murkle and his 10-year-old daughter Megun were last heard from around 2 p.m. Saturday.

Police say the families reportedly went for a drive Saturday near either Lucky Peak or C.J. Strike Reservoir. The group told family they would be home by 5 p.m. Saturday but never returned.

The wife of one of the missing men tells KBOI last night was a very long one that she spent thinking of horrible scenarios for what could have happened. However, she says she was extremely happy to hear her family was safe and sound Sunday evening.

Chaunte Murkle spent Sunday evening looking out the window, anxious for her husband Will and their 10-year-old daughter, Megun, to come home.

Murkle said she knew something was wrong Saturday night when her family never returned from a hiking trip.

The families told officers Sunday evening that they got stuck in a snowbank and spent the night in the car. They say they began walking for help around 8 a.m. Sunday and made it to a cabin in Prairie around 5:20 p.m. Sunday.

The families estimated they walked 19 miles to find help and used a landline in a cabin to call their families to let them know they were safe.

"Oh my gosh," Murkle said. "I was likewith three kids, that's crazy. That's just a monumental task for anything, especially with an 8-year-old, a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old."

Friends and family had been stopping by all day Sunday for support. Many also helped with the search.

"It was kind of an adventure that ended the best it could," neighbor Lynn Hardy said. "It brought our community together. Everyone on the street kind of pitched in, jumped in their vehicles and went out immediately to search for them."

Chaunte Murkle said she couldn't wait for the reunion with her family. She said her first words when she sees her husband would be: "I am so mad at you, but I love you."

Will's parents went to pick everyone up in Prairie. They were expected to return home late Sunday night.

The Boise Police Department, along with deputies in Ada, Elmore, Owyhee and Boise County were all assisting in the search.