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Cocoa police find stolen gun during child welfare check

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COCOA, Fla. – Officers found a family squatting at a vacant Cocoa home, recovered a stolen gun there and are looking for a man who fled from the scene, a police spokeswoman told News 6 partner Florida Today.

Cocoa police went to the home in the 700 block of South Varr Avenue shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday for a well-being check, spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said. The home had been deemed uninhabitable in May. 

When they arrived, officers said they saw three people outside the home. One of the three fled on foot, dropping a backpack in a vehicle as he ran, Martinez said. Police have the man's identity and were continuing to search for him Wednesday, Martinez said. 

Officers recovered the backpack and found a BB gun and two firearms, one of which had been reported stolen in Melbourne.

Two children, ages 4 and six weeks, had been staying at the home, Martinez said. They were placed with relatives, police said. The Department of Children and Families were contacted about investigating the family. 

The children's parents, Derrick Chandler, 45, and Traci Jane Jones, 32, were trespassed from the property.