A Grays Harbor County couple and two of their four young children are missing, according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.
Jason and Melissa McAlister were last seen about 7 a.m. Tuesday at their home north of Montesano before they left for a drive with their 8-month-old and 2-year-old daughters, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The couple’s two older children were attending school that day.
The couple were thought to be driving a gold 2008 Chevrolet Uplander van, with a Washington state license BCG7486.
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Sheriff’s deputies in Grays Harbor and Mason counties spent Wednesday driving remote logging roads as they searched for the family.
The family’s home is in a rural area about 20 miles north of Montesano.
Steve Shumate, chief criminal deputy with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, said, “We just don’t know where they could have gone. Hopefully they’ve just broken down somewhere.”
According to komonews.com, a neighbor alerted authorities after receiving a call from the school where the couple’s two older children attend.
The children, ages 5 and 7, were not picked up at the bus stop after school, he said, and had been driven back to the Montesano School bus garage.
School officials called an emergency contact for the children, who picked them up and drove them home.
The family’s landlord, who also lives at the property, told authorities he had spoken with Jason McAlister, 33, before leaving the house at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Shumate said.
McAlister reportedly told him the family planned to do some chores, then maybe go out for a drive and come back by 3 p.m.
Jason McAlister works as a ranch hand on the property, while Melissa McAlister works at a Walmart store in Aberdeen.
At the time of the conversation, Melissa McAlister, 27, was still in bed, Shumate said.
The sheriff’s office had not been able to find an aircraft to use in the search as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Washington State Patrol would have one available Thursday, he said, and the office was waiting to hear back on a request placed with the military.
Deputies have checked areas the landlord said the family liked to frequent, including near Humptulips and the high steel bridge in Mason County, a span that crosses 375 feet above the south fork of the Skokomish River.
Anyone with information about the family or the vehicle is asked to call 360-533-8765.