Judge signs order to take custody of singer McCready's son

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 01, 2011 6:53 PM
Judge signs order to take custody of singer McCready's son

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) - A Florida judge signed an order on Thursday allowing authorities to take custody of country singer Mindy McCready's 5-year-old son Zander and bring him back to Florida if they can find him.

The order came a day after Florida officials said a missing person's report had been filed for Zander and that McCready had been ordered to return the boy. But the singer had countered that her son was safe with her.

McCready's mother, who lives in Cape Coral, Florida, has custody of the boy but McCready has visitation rights. Zander had been at his grandfather's house when McCready left with him, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families said. DCF did not say how long he had been gone.

Representatives for McCready said on Wednesday that Zander has been with her for more than 30 days, and that he was safe and healthy, adding that law enforcement officials spoke with Zander and saw him on Tuesday via the online video conferencing program Skype.

McCready, 36, had been ordered to return Zander to Lee County in southwest Florida by 5 p.m. on Thursday.

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Judge James Seals of Florida's 20th Judicial Circuit signed an emergency pick up order for Zander on Thursday afternoon, according to court spokeswoman Sheila Mann. No criminal charges have been filed.

McCready has appeared on the television show "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew". Her last album, "I'm Still Here" was released in 2010.

(Reporting by Robert Green; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)