According to the Newton, Illinois Police Department, a family of four that went missing months ago has been found.
The last time anyone heard from Stephen Lutz, 44, and his wife Monica, 34, or their two sons, Nicholas, 9, and Aiden, 11, was on February 10.
According to CCTV footage, the four-member Illinois family abruptly left their home in the middle of the night while towing a U-Haul behind their blue 2005 Ford F150.
Police have been looking for the Lutz family for months because they were believed to be in danger.
However, on April 17, the Jasper County Daily News published a letter stating that the four-person family had been found and was safe.
The memo stated that “Stephen, Monica, Aiden, and Nicholas have been located in Cochise County, Arizona.”
Newton, Illinois is about 1,500 kilometers away from Cochise County.
The family was located with the aid of state police and license plate readers, and a deputy was able to get in touch with Ms. Lutz and Mr. Lutz individually.
“Monica gave the deputy the location of Stephen and he noted that the boys appeared to be in good health. The deputy phoned Chief Britton shortly after speaking with Stephen, according to the letter.
According to Mr. Lutz, they have “relocated” and have “no plans of returning to Newton.”
The family has been located, according to the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, which they confirmed to The Independent.
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Law police, as well as friends, relatives, and neighbors, were concerned about the circumstances surrounding the family’s abrupt departure.
According to Newton Police, Mr. Lutz was given a no-contact and no-entry order prior to their abrupt departure after being charged with domestic abuse.
***MISSING*** NEWTON, IL
A Newton, IL family has not been heard from in nearly nine weeks, and many are concerned for their safety. Stephen and Monica Lutz and their two sons Nicholas and Aiden were last heard from on February 10th, 2023, the day they were reported missing.… pic.twitter.com/dAl5HuQ1KI
— The AWARE Foundation (@aware_the) April 14, 2023
In January, Mr. Lutz appeared in court via Zoom to answer the allegations, and he was granted bond with the restriction of no contact and no access. At that time, he wasn’t facing any charges.
Although they emphasized that Mr. Lutz is innocent until proven guilty, the police claimed there had been prior incidents of domestic violence in the home.
In a Facebook post, Brittany Lutz, the older daughter of Mr. Lutz, expressed her deep concern for her younger brother’s safety.
A few days prior to their disappearance, according to Brittany’s account to WCIA, she and her younger half-brother Aiden exchanged texts.
The family was going on vacation, according to Aiden, who was unsure of their destination. He hadn’t contacted her since February 10th.
On February 14, Brittany also messaged her father, offering to take her half-brothers and “just get them back to a normal life.”
In response, Mr. Lutz stated that they “have a normal life” and that he was no longer permitted to be in their presence. He assured Brittany in a lengthy text conversation that “nothing is wrong with our house or the way we raise our children.”
Since then, Brittany had not heard from him, and shortly after that, all of the family’s cell phones had been deactivated.
According to Chief Britton, they are “relieved to have made contact with the family and are thankful that they are safe.”
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