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Mother of dead Texas children sought

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HUTTO, Texas, April 22 -- A nationwide search is under way for the 22-year-old mother of two young children found murdered earlier this week in a central Texas creek. Williamson County Sheriff Ed Richards says 22-year-old Tina Marie Cornelius is not a suspect but is wanted for questioning in the case.

Her children -- identified today as 3-year-old Amanda Lee Miller and 2- year-old Dominic Logan Cornelius -- were found Monday at the bottom of a deep ravine in Brushy Creek near Hutto, about 20 miles northeast of Austin. Autopsies found that Dominic died from a blow to the head and Amanda was suffocated. Investigators for the sheriff's department and the Texas Department of Public Safety say the children were identified after receiving a tip Wednesday from a day care center in Austin. Sheriff's Capt. Linda Bunte says, 'Yesterday afternoon we received a phone call from a day care center that thought they knew the children and gave us information in regards to their mother.' Bunte says child care workers reported that they had not seen the children since April 14. Family members told investigators they had not seen Cornelius and her children since April 15, last Thursday. A nationwide search is under way for Cornelius, who Richards stressed is not yet a suspect in the case. Her last known address was the Copper Creek Apartments in Austin. Meanwhile, a wreath has been placed along Brushy Creek at the top of the 35-foot ravine where the children's bodies were found by a passerby on Monday. ---

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Copyright 1999 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

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