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Child allegedly taken from Maple Hill Elementary School, mother charged

Town of Wallkill police say they were alerted to the incident Friday during dismissal at the Middletown school.

Blaise Gomez

Jan 31, 2024, 12:29 PM

Updated 167 days ago

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A Bronx woman and her boyfriend have been charged with custodial interference for allegedly taking her child from Maple Hill Elementary School in violation of a custody and visitation court order.
Town of Wallkill police say they were alerted to the incident Friday during dismissal at the Middletown school.
A person close to the family alerted News 12 to the case and says the child was allegedly given to the mother by a school employee, even though the school has a copy of the court order prohibiting the mother from picking up the child due to an alleged history of abuse.
Maple Hill Elementary School principal Suzanne Driscoll issued a statement Monday saying, “Our primary concern is always for student safety. We continually review our building safety procedures to ensure our critical safeguards are in place to support the health, safety, and well-being of our young people with all of our staff. A full investigation into this matter is taking place.“
Police say the mother, Chana Elena Morales, 32, of the Bronx, and her boyfriend, Johntae Xavier Williams, 22, of the Bronx, were found with the child in East Rutherford, New Jersey and arrested Friday evening.
News 12 is told by a source close to the case that the couple was found with the child at a hotel under circumstances that indicated a possible intention to flee.
Authorities, however, have not said that and also have not confirmed or commented on any prior allegations of abuse.
The couple was released on appearance tickets and is due back in Town of Wallkill Court on Thursday. Morales is charged with custodial interference, criminal contempt and endangering the welfare of a child.
Williams is charged with custodial interference and criminal facilitation.
News 12 is told the child was not physically injured during the incident and is back in the custody of the father


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