American TV drama WITHOUT A TRACE has helped a worried dad track down his two missing kids - after two years.

A re-run of the hit show, which focuses on a special FBI team who search for missing people, featured an image of real-life abducted kid NICHOLAS CANDELA, eight, over the credits last week (21JUL05).

A fan of the show recognised the snapshot as that of a young neighbour in a New York apartment block and contacted the police, who staged a raid on the home of Candela's mother, who allegedly kidnapped Nicholas and his sister JOHANNA.

The kids, who were missing for two years after they were abducted in Oklahoma in 2003, were returned to their father NICK CANDELA yesterday morning (26JUL05).

Without A Trace star ANTHONY LaPAGLIA was floored by the news on the set: "I always used to say if they find one kid it will be worth the whole ordeal of making TV. When something like that happens, that is significant."

The children's mother, MARSHA, has been charged with unlawful flight, related to parental kidnapping.

27/07/2005 09:12