Reporting Stephanie Lucero
Savannah Hurley was abducted by her mother, Shelly Jean Hurley, in Trinity County, just north of Houston, around 1:00 p.m. on Monday. An Amber Alert was issued on Tuesday for the southeast Texas girl.
On Monday, CPS visited the mother at her home to remove the child from her custody, though the girl was not home.
“We asked where the child was, heard the mother talking on the phone, and knew she was with the grandmother,” said Shari Pulliam, a CPS public information officer.
Pulliam says the mother was angry and tried to run over the CPS case workers in the home’s driveway as she left.
CPS workers contacted the girl’s grandmother and indicated that legal custody had been given to CPS, but the grandmother claimed to be out of town. After trying to contact her numerous times throughout the day by phone and at her home, workers finally reached her later that evening.
“We finally got her to answer the phone around 10 p.m. last night – the grandmother told us she had given the child to her daughter Shelly and that Shelly was going to turn her over to CPS, which of course, that did not happen,” said Pulliam.
The grandmother, 64-year-old Patricia Rutledge, was arrested in Trinity County and charged with interfering with the case.
Police initially suspected that the mother may have taken her daughter north towards the Dallas – Fort Worth area. In fact, Mesquite Police located a vehicle that the mother was thought to be driving on Tuesday afternoon in Mesquite, though the two were nowhere to be found. Police have not indicated how the car ended up in Mesquite.
The girl told CPS that she stayed the night with her mother in Trinity County.
Authorities in southeast Texas told KTRK that the mother is a known drug user.
She has since been arrested and is in the custody of the Trinity County Sheriffs Department. CPS has taken custody of the girl and is transferring her to a foster home.
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