The family of a nine-year-old Houston boy is celebrating after the child was located by authorities in Florida. He has been missing since the end of 2017 — the victim of parental abduction.
According to authorities, the child’s father left Texas with the child, who was just seven at the time, without telling the boy’s mother.
After the abduction, the mother was granted sole custody. By early 2018, the child had been listed as a missing person “abducted by a non-custodial parent.”
Initially, authorities believed the father would go to Tallahassee, Florida, where he had once lived. Ultimately, the father and son were located through the efforts of Houston detectives in Sanford, Florida, which is about four hours away from Tallahassee. The detectives notified the police in that state. The authorities there were able to locate the boy and his father the next morning at Fort Mellon Park.
The child is currently in the custody of Child Protective Services in Florida, pending return to his mother. Meanwhile, authorities in Texas are considering criminal charges against the father.
Parental abduction is a serious crime — and never a good solution to a child custody dispute with your co-parent. If you’re anticipating a divorce, don’t take the issue into your own hands by leaving the area with your child without the other parent’s consent won’t help you — even if there’s no custody order in place.
Instead, it could seriously disadvantage your case for custody altogether. Talk to an experienced custody attorney about your rights and options and learn more about what choices you really have.