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Fitchburg woman held without bail in child custody case

A Massachusetts woman accused of allegedly abusing her minor child is receiving vocal support from her adult children. The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families arrived at the woman's home to remove the 5-year-old child from her mother's home and discovered them missing. An Amber Alert was activated in the child custody case, and the 50-year-old woman and her daughter were found the next day in Shelby, North Carolina, at the home of a relative.

The woman's 22-year-old daughter confirmed that she, her mother and young sister had taken a trip south to locate housing near other relatives for a proposed move. She characterized the drive as a "family trip," and claimed that she and her mother were unaware of any plans to remove the youngster from her mother's custody. She denied the child was ever abused or endangered while in her mother's care, while acknowledging her mother's problems years earlier with drugs and other issues that affected her parenting ability.

The Fitchburg woman faces a rendition hearing and charges of kidnapping of a minor by a relative, a felony, along with reckless endangerment. She is being held in a North Carolina jail without bail. The child remains in the custody of a foster family pending her return to Massachusetts.

The adult daughter and her brother claim the local Department of Children and Families is overreacting because of a recent high-profile case involving the disappearance and alleged whereabouts of another 5-year-old from Fitchburg. That case was with the agency for two years before he was discovered missing.

If you are facing allegations that could adversely affect the custodial living arrangements of your minor children, you need the advice of an attorney who knows the ropes in the Massachusetts family law system. Allegations are not facts but can cloud a case and cast doubt on your ability to effectively parent your child. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney may help you to be able to fight to keep custody of your kids without the intervention of state agencies.

Source: bostonglobe.com, "Family defends Fitchburg woman in kidnap case" Jeremy C. Fox, Jan. 13, 2014

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