Tahlequah Daily Press

July 25, 2013

Charges sought in family flap

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies say they’ll seek charges against a Stilwell mother who refused to take custody of her 17-year-old Tuesday evening.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Moore said he was called to the Woodall area Tuesday evening to deal with a domestic disturbance involving a runaway boy. Moore found the teen in the area and decided to take him into protective custody because of looming tornadic activity and heavy rainfall that was moving into the area.

Moore took the teen back to a residence off Stanley Lane, and learned the residents there had been his foster parents about a year ago. They told Moore the state placed the teen back into the custody of his biological mother, and they also told Moore the teen could not stay with them because of previous problems.

Moore said he took the teen back to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and juvenile affairs was contacted. Officials from that agency told Moore to release the child into the care of his mother.

Deputies were unable to reach the mother, so Stilwell police responded to her home. Moore said officers there were told by the mother that she would not travel to Tahlequah to get her son, and that authorities could do whatever they wanted because she “didn’t care.”

Department of Human Services officials told deputies they could take no action without a judge’s order.

Moore then decided to transport the boy back to his mother’s home in Stilwell. According to Moore, the mother first said she couldn’t pick up her son because she didn’t have a way to get to Tahlequah. When the deputy asked about the vehicle in her driveway, the mother then said her son had taken himself to Tahlequah, so she figured he could find a way to get back with out – that she “didn’t care how.”

Moore said he then took the mother’s information and told her she could be facing criminal charges in Cherokee County. The teen was released back into her custody.