Missing Ponchatoula children found safe. Biological mother arrested for kidnapping.


Shawntel Heck


HAMMOND, La. — On March 5, 38-year-old Shawntel Heck was taken into custody by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Heck will be held without bond pending extradition to Tangipahoa Parish.

Upon arrival at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail, she will be charged with simple kidnapping and unauthorized use of a movable.

PONCHATOULA, La. — On Wednesday afternoon, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Jimmy Travis announced that they have cancelled the Amber Alert out of Ponchatoula.

Chief Travis said officials were able to locate the missing vehicle in Santa Rosa County, Florida, and the two missing boys were found nearby.

Officials believe the boys biological mother, 38-year-old Shawntel Heck, is responsible for their kidnapping. Officials say she fled the scene, and a search is being conducted in a nearby wooded area.

According to Chief Travis, Heck was dropped off at the Ponchatoula residence in the morning. She allegedly saw her children in the running vehicle, and took it upon herself to steal the car and kidnap the boys.

At that point, it is believed the mother fled to an area of Florida where she had lived in the past.

Chief Travis says when located, Heck will be charged with simple kidnapping and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Both are felony offenses.

PONCHATOULA, La. — On the morning of March 3, the Louisiana State Police issued an Amber Alert on behalf of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.

A person of interest has been identified and police are actively searching for that person.

Police say the two young boys were taken from their father’s home at 41598 River Road, in Ponchatoula.

The children were in a 2013 Hyundai Elantra, Louisiana plate 153AFD, when it was stolen from the residence. The vehicle is Maroon in color with a busted sunroof. The direction of travel is also unknown.

Descriptions of the missing boys below:

  • Kaesyn Heck – white male, 8-years-old, approximately 5ft. tall, weighs approximately 60 pounds, blonde hair, “crew cut” style haircut
  • Jax Matthews – – white male, 4-years-old, approximately 3 ½ ft. tall, weighs approximately 45 pounds, blonde hair, “crew cut” style haircut

Jax Matthews was last seen wearing a camo jacket and black rubber boots.

Kaesyn was last seen wearing a black jacket and blue long sleeve shirt, jeans and black rubber boots. 

Any information please contact the Tangipahoa Parish Sherriff’s Office at 985-345-6150 and Sgt. Lindell Bridges at 985-551-0653.


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