Two children abducted from legal guardians found in Tennessee, mother arrested
A Flagler County mother was arrested after allegedly taking her two children from their legal guardians and driving them to Tennessee to be with their father, according to a news release by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies received a call on Saturday, July 28, from Cute Court in Palm Coast concerning two missing children aged 3 and 5.
James Jones and Kristi Kocer, the children’s’ grandmother, told deputies they believed the children’s mother, Sara Jones, took the children to Tennessee to be with their father, Phillip McGraw.
The Department of Children and Families previously took custody of the children and gave them to the great grandparents after Sara Jones wrecked her vehicle while her kids were in the backseat. She was under the influence of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.
The legal guardians told deputies that Sara Jones was at the residence Friday evening to attend a family counseling session and to visit with the children. The great-grandparents did not give her permission to enter the residence during the night or to take the children from the residence. She had a key to the home.
While deputies were on scene investigating, James Jones received a phone call from McGraw’s former boss saying he had called McGraw and heard children’s voices in the background that he believed belonged to the missing children.
FCSO deputies contacted the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee. MCSO responded to 2610 Reed Springs Road in Sweetwater and found the two missing children with their other grandmother.
Sara Jones was charged with two counts of kidnapping, and she was arrested by MCSO and is being held in the Monroe County Jail with a $25,000.00 bond, pending extradition to Flagler County.
“I’m thankful these children are safe and out of harms way,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a release. “Our detectives worked quickly with DCF and Tennessee authorities to find these children and track down the mother. You cannot interfere in custody issues ordered by a judge without risk of being arrested. These orders are done to protect children when their parents don’t and are not taken lightly."