Missing family found safe in Contra Costa County

By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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UPDATE -- A missing Georgetown family was found safe in Antioch Wednesday evening. El Dorado County Sheriff’s officials said Sarah Smith called the office at about 5:30 p.m. letting deputies know that she, her two children and boyfriend were safe and staying with friends in Antioch. Smith called after a friend told her that she and her family were reported missing Oct. 24. Local authorities searched for the family on ground and by air after relatives reported that they left the Georgetown area without taking any of their possessions. Officials say it appears there was a possible miscommunication between Smith and her family members in Georgetown. ---------- Authorities believe a missing Georgetown family is alive but are still searching for them. As of Wednesday afternoon, El Dorado County Sheriff’s officials said they have reason to believe that a missing mother of two is alive after she was last seen in the Antioch/Pittsburg area on Sunday and Monday. Lt. Bryan Golmitz, El Dorado Sheriff’s spokesman, said that Sarah Jean Smith, 28, was spotted almost a week after she disappeared from Georgetown with her two children and boyfriend. “We feel very confident she is alive and well and she is somewhere in that Antioch/Pittsburg area,” Gomitz said Wednesday. Smith, her 7-year-old son Joshua Todd Bargus, 15-month-old daughter Kylie Jean Just and 40-year-old boyfriend James McClellan were last seen Oct. 20 driving to Georgetown Elementary School to pick up Joshua. On Oct. 24, Smith’s mother reported that the family was missing after they didn’t return home and did not pack any of their belongings in the 2004 silver Honda Civic they drove away in. The car does not have any license plates. Golmitz said El Dorado Sheriff’s investigators have been working with officials from the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to locate the family. He said neither Smith or McClellan have bank accounts and neither currently has service provided to their cell phones. “Basically we talked to oodles of friends and relatives trying to figure out where they might be and if they’ve talked to or seen them and they’ve all come up with a big zero,” Golmitz said. The California Highway Patrol helicopter flew over local roadways and did not find any sign of the family or their vehicle. Smith’s mother, Judy Brown, told investigators that her daughter has abruptly left a town before. About a month ago, Smith moved her children from Brentwood to Brown’s home in Georgetown after reportedly having martial problems. “Whatever problems or reasons they had to leave Brentwood, they didn’t tell anybody,” Golmitz said. “They got up and left and showed up at her mom’s house.” Golmitz said investigators “feel much better” knowing that Smith has been spotted but are still concerned about the family. “We haven’t physically seen her or had an agency locate her physically,” Golmitz said. “We need to find out and check the welfare of the children. That’s our biggest priority right now.” Jenifer Gee can be reached at