A 33-year-old Illinois woman was arrested on felony child abduction charges and detained without bail after allegedly abducting her 21-month-son. The woman reportedly took the child from a Cook County restaurant during a supervised visit. The case worker on duty at the time claims the woman asked if she could get water for her son, after which she allegedly grabbed the child and fled the scene in a truck her boyfriend had rented. The woman has history of child custody issues.
A representative with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said that the case worker that he called phoned 911 once he realized the woman was gone. Police immediately began searching for the woman and located the truck. Upon finding the truck and linking it to the woman's boyfriend, officers found that the 35-year-old man had failed to register as a sex offender and arrested him.
Several months later, police located the woman and child at a hotel in another state. They arrested the woman and extradited her to Illinois, where a judge ordered her held without bail during a hearing at the Cook County Bond Court. Police claim she had four warrants for her arrest when they found her. The child was reportedly unharmed upon his discovery. He was placed in DCFS custody and has remained in the agency's care since then.
The woman was previously accused of abducting the child without obtaining permission from the DCFS. She has three other children, but the DCFS took custody of those children before her fourth child was born. According to Cook County's Sheriff, the woman lost child custody by exposing the children to "substantial risk of physical harm."
While it can be tempting to take drastic measures when faced with an unfair or frustrating child custody arrangement, abducting a child only makes it more difficult to prove one's capability as a parent to an Illinois court. Individuals who wish to legally change their custody agreements should contact an attorney to learn more.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Woman who abducted son, took him to Memphis, ordered held without bail," Dec. 17, 2012