Thursday, May 11, 2006

California mother held in custody breach case

I am posting this to draw attention to what should be simply routine: the arrest of a parent after her abduction of her child. Hats off to California -- the most progressive American state in this regard.

By Sara Eaton
The Journal Gazette
May 10, 2006

Police arrested a California woman Monday on charges of violating a child custody order by removing her son from his father’s Fort Wayne home last July and never returning him.
Latonna Whitt, 28, of El Cajon, Calif., was booked into the Allen County Lockup at 9:32 a.m. Monday on a single count of violation of custody. She was being held without bail.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Whitt picked her son up from his father’s Fort Wayne home July 3 for a weekend visit but failed to return him the following Sunday as scheduled. Although the boy’s father tried to alert police right away, he was referred to his attorney from the custody case, according to court records.

In October, the father learned Whitt had withdrawn their son from Fort Wayne Community Schools and enrolled him in a school in California, according to the affidavit.

A court order allowed Whitt to have weekend visits with her son but restricted her from removing him from Indiana. The charge is punishable by six months to three years in prison.