Family, Friends Hopeful For Safe Rescue

Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Friends and family of a father and his two children missing in the Congaree National Park are hoping to hear good news soon.

J.R. Kimbler and 10-year-old son Dakota and 6-year-old daughter Jade haven't been seen since Saturday.

So far rescuers have walked a third of the 27,000 acre park, but there's been no sign of the three.

"He would die before he'd let something happen to them," Maybee Harris said.

Harris has nothing but great things to say about her cousin , Kimbler.

"I offered him to come over on thanksgiving he's like, 'No I got to work, my babies need stuff,'" Harris said.

On Saturday night, Kimbler and his children were on a hiking excursion.

"He did text another cab driver saying, 'I'm lost, I need help,'" Harris said.

"The cab was here when I got here and h's not been back to it since then," Tammy Ballard said.

Ballard has been at the park since Saturday night when her children were reported lost.

After knowing Kimbler for over a decade, she believes there's no reason that he would do something like this on purpose. Related Coverage: Search for Missing Family Continues

"He's a good daddy. I don't feel in any way shape or form that he would have intentionally let anything happen to them," Ballard said. "Dakoda and Jade they're very adventurous. I'm thinking that's how they even got off the trail. I don't know. They like hunting and fishing, wandering around in the woods and stuff."

Kimbler's cab still has the window rolled down and a full pack of cigarettes in the cup holder.

It's been almost two full days the group has been inside the park and Ballard is ready for them all to come home.

"I'm real concerned about their well-being," Ballard said.

The family said Kimbler lives in a motel in Cayce and concerned about Jade, saying her asthma medication was found in the room.


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