Merced police seeking the public's help in finding brother and sister who disappeared on Sunday

The Merced Police Department is asking residents for help in finding a brother and sister who are believed to be runaways: Alex Crowson, 11, and Aponi Crowson, 12.

Alex is 4-feet-5-inches tall, white, with brown hair, brown eyes and weighs 70 pounds.

He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweat jacket with a zipper. The jacket has the words “Nor-Cal” on the front with a picture of a star on the upper back shoulder area. He was also wearing a striped shirt and blue jeans, according to a Merced police news release.

Aponi is 4-feet-5-inches tall with brown hair, brown eyes and weighs 70 pounds. She was wearing a pink sweater, purple shirt with a picture of Sponge Bob Square Pants on the front and blue leggings.

On Sunday at 8:30 a.m. the children went outside to play. The parents went to check on the children about 10:30 a.m., but they were not found.

Alex and Aponi have run away before and have mentioned wanting to run away to their grandmother’s house in the Porterville or Visalia area, according to Merced police.

The last time anyone saw the children was at 10:52 a.m. at the Valero gas station on East Childs Avenue, buying candy and chips. Capt. Tom Trindad said police don’t believe a stranger abducted the siblings, but police are concerned for their safety.

Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact Detective Joe Deliman at (209) 385-6992, or the department’s automated tipline at (209) 385-4725.

The public can send information via anonymous text messages to the police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “ComVIP” as the keyword in the text message.