Mississippi authorities are searching for four girls last seen with their mother and stepfather who are charged with mistreating the girls.

Canton Assistant Police Chief Juan Cloy said Thursday that the girls, ages 1 to 6, had been put into state protective custody. But the mother and stepfather are believed to have taken them after getting out of jail.

He says law enforcement officers believe the children might be in danger from their stepfather, 24-year-old Fernando Coria-Pelay, who was charged with felony child abuse in May.

Clay says the girls' mother, 28-year-old Sonia Elisabeth Coronado, was charged with felony child neglect.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation on Sept. 12 issued a missing and endangered child alert for 6-year-old Kimberly Elizabeth Gomez-Coronado, 5-year-old Jackelyn Belinda Gomez-Coronado, 2-year-old Evelin Fernanda Coria-Coronado and 1-year-old Mendy Coria-Coronado.