Palm Coast, FL – Two children taken from their great-grandparents’ home in Palm Coast this past weekend are found safe and sound in Tennessee.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office reports that a call came in on Saturday, July 28, stating that the 3 and 5-year-old children were missing from the home, along with clothing, toys and toiletry items.
The great-grandparents, James and Billie Jean Jones, are the children’s legal guardians. They and Kristi Kocer, the children’s grandmother, told FCSO the children were put to bed about 10 Friday evening but had disappeared by the following morning.
The children were taken from their mother – identified as Sara Elisabeth Jones – after she wrecked her vehicle while under the influence with the children in the backseat. Records show that Sara Jones tested positive for methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.
The family said they believed the children were taken by their mother, and that she was traveling with them to Tennessee to be with their father, Phillip Bradley Steven McGraw. They stated that Sara was at the home on Friday evening for a family counseling session and a supervised visit with the children.
During the evening, the family members say they did not give Sara permission to enter the residence or take them from the home, but Sara had a key to the home, according to FCSO officials.
While deputies were investigating, James Jones received a call from McGraw’s former boss, who reported he had spoken to McGraw on the phone and heard children’s voices in the background. The former boss believed they were the missing children.
FCSO contacted the Monroe County, Tennessee Sheriff’s office. They went to McGraw’s home in Sweetwater, TN and found the missing children with their other grandmother.
Flagler County detectives obtained a warrant for Sara Jones with two counts of kidnapping. She was arrested in Tennessee with a $25,000 bond pending extradition to Flagler County.
There is still a possibility that the children’s father could face charges but that decision has not yet been made.