Amber Alert Was Custody Battle, Not Kidnapping

Amber Alert Was Custody Battle, Not Kidnapping

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Karen Scullin ReportingThe Harrisville, Utah woman who sparked an Amber Alert for her 5-year old daughter has some big questions to answer tonight.

Jane Woodward led police to believe her daughter had been kidnapped by the girl's father who had no custody rights. Turns out that wasn't true.

Last night Woodward told police when the child was taken that the girl's father said he would "go out in style." An Amber Alert was issued and law enforcement was on the lookout. The father and little girl were spotted hours later in Rawlins, Wyoming.

But investigators eventually realized a judge in Texas set aside a divorce decree and Woodward's right to full custody because she was facing some serious criminal accusations.

Chief Max Jackson, Harrisville Police Dept.: “All's I can tell you is it's very serious and it's an extraditable offense. And based on what we knew, I personally felt that it was better that the father take custody of the child. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt, but she has some explaining to do and as soon as she gets back, my investigators will be talking to her."

The mother did drive to Wyoming to see her little girl, but the sheriff's office there says it didn't go well and the little girl clearly didn't want to be with her mother.

Now even with the twist in the case, the Attorney Generals office supports the issuing of an Amber Alert, saying with the facts that were in front of them the Harrisville Police Department made the right decision.

And as the Chief told KSL tonight, had the father just agreed to meet with police as requested, the whole big incident could have been avoided.

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