missing person

Mass. boy, 1, safe after mom without custody fled with him to Alabama, police say

When cellphone data placed Genezza Packett on I-59 in Alabama, the local highway patrol quickly found her vehicle and confirmed the child was safe, according to Massachusetts State Police

A woman fled Massachusetts with her 1-year-old son last week, telling the boy's guardian, her aunt, she was going on a brief trip to Dunkin', police said.

The pair were later found safe in Alabama, after law enforcement across the country collaborated to track the woman down, Massachusetts State Police said Wednesday.



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During a visit in Fall River on Thursday, Genezza Packett told her aunt she was taking the boy to a Dunkin' in the area, then would come back, police said. But hours later, Fall River police were called to report them missing, with the child possibly in danger.

Investigators in Fall River requested an Amber Alert, saying they feared for the boy's safety given five active felony warrants against Packett for non-related, non-violent criminal allegations, police said, but the woman had made no threats against the child and the incident was found not to have met the criteria for an alert.

Investigators tracked Packett's phone early Friday morning to Interstate 81 in Virginia, and members of her family told police that she may have been headed to family in Mississippi. Police said they then shared a bulletin with law enforcement between Massachusetts and Mississippi.

When cellphone data placed Packett on Interstate 59 in Alabama, the local highway patrol quickly found her vehicle and confirmed the child was safe, according to police.

It wasn't immediately clear if Packett was facing charges.

"The success of this mission to secure a 1-year-old child in danger illustrates the importance of sharing actionable intelligence across local and state law enforcement. The Massachusetts State Police commend our partners in Fall River, Virginia, and Alabama for their extraordinary coordination," a Massachusetts State Police spokesman said in a statement.

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