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Griffin mom still missing, children left with relative

COVINGTON -- Officials are still on the lookout for a Griffin woman who was reported missing last week after being last seen at Factory Shoals Park in southern Newton County. However, her three children who also were reported missing have been located.

"The female is still considered missing," said Newton County Sheriff's Office public information officer Courtney Morrison, "but her children have been found. They were left with a family member and are safe."

Bobbie Alyena Ford, 28, and her three children, a 4-year-old boy, a 5-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, were reported missing last week after they went camping at Factory Shoals Park. Ford's boyfriend, Christopher Jerome Ballard was with her and the children; however, Morrison said he is not considered to be missing.

"He was never reported missing," Morrison said. "She was the only one reported missing with the children. He was just a known associate with her."

Morrison said it is believed that Ford and Ballard are still together.

The couple had told friends and family they would return home Monday, June 14.

"A friend became concerned because she had not heard from them," said NCSO Public Information Officer Anthony Washington last week. "She went out to the campsite at Factory Shoals and saw personal belongings that belonged to the victim, but did not see the victim or the children. She left a note on the cooler asking them to contact her."

Washington said after the friend did not hear from the couple after leaving the note, she contacted the NCSO.

"Their car is gone as well," Washington said. "Wherever they went, they left without notifying family and friends of their intentions."

Morrison said a ranger at Factory Shoals reported seeing the couple after they were reported missing and told them there was concern about their whereabouts, but they have not yet contacted the NCSO.

They were reportedly driving a gray 1996 Chrysler Sebring with tag number BLL8937.

Ford is described as 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing approximately 135 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Ford is asked to call the NCSO at 678-625-1400. Tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through the website at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tips." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.

News editor Barbara Knowles contributed to this report.