The country music singer Mindy McCready has said in an email to The Associated Press that she will not return her 5-year-old son Zander to Florida despite court orders that she return the boy to his guardian, McCready's mother. The singer, who is pregnant with twins, alleges that her mother has abused the child since winning custody of him in 2007 while the embattled singer underwent substance abuse rehabilitation and survived an apparent suicide attempt. The AP reported that the court's current role is to enforce the custody arrangement, not make judgments about the status of that arrangement:
"Once the child is located, we will pick him up and bring him back to Florida," said Terri Durdaller, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families. "Although these circumstances are unfortunate for a young child, his safety and well-being are our number one priority."
McCready provided a series of emails to the AP with Lee County Judge James Seals' ruling to return the boy.
"Mom has violated the court's custody order and we are simply restoring the child back into our custody," the judge wrote. "Nothing more. Nothing less. The court makes no judgment about whether Mom will or will not competently care for the child while in her custody. It only wants the child back where the court placed him."