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Search for fleeing Belmont County family extending beyond border

The search for a Belmont County man facing child pornography charges is ongoing. Now, international authorities are involved.

The search for a Belmont County man facing child pornography charges is ongoing. Now, international authorities are involved.

Wesley Burdge and his family have been on the run for more than two weeks.

The Belmont County Sheriff's Office said its main priority is finding the two children. They are also trying to obtain an arrest warrant for the mother, Tabitha Gallagher.

"We've been working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and they've been doing a phenomenal job helping us. They created posters and are also conducting an online campaign on their website and media campaigns to get the word out on these missing children,” said Detective Doug Cruse.

Detectives are looking for five-year-old Lexington Gallagher and one-year-old Khaleecsi Gallagher, who are believed to be with their parents, Wesley Burdge and Tabitha Gallagher.

Burdge faces two counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor.

Police are also investigating Tabitha as a possible suspect.

"Not only in this case, but also as a person who's obstructing our ability to locate the children at this time,” Cruse said.

Cruse said a warrant for Tabitha is under review by the prosecutor's office.

In the meantime, the U.S. Marshals, FBI and law enforcement from Connecticut to Canada are searching for the family.

"We also filed this report with Children's Services, so we can look into what they can do to help us. Once we get these kid's safe, we can conduct an investigation into the criminal aspect of what their parents are doing,” Cruse said. “But right now, we really need to make sure we get these kids safe."

Cruse said if Burdge and Gallagher are watching, they ask them to please leave the children somewhere safe if they are going to continue to run from law enforcement.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Belmont County Sheriff's Office.

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