Mesa police said Monday they have located Madeline Jones and her 1-year-old son William, who they have been searching for since June but now allege disappeared as part of a plot with the woman’s parents to avoid sharing custody of the boy.
Child Protective Services has custody of William, and Jones is being detained by police, according to Mesa Police Detective Steve Berry.
Police said that the woman’s parents, Cassandra and Roland Jones falsely reported her missing after helping her arrange to flee with the child in order to avoid a joint custody arrangement.
The boy’s father, who is Jones’ ex-husband, announced that his son was found Monday afternoon via social media.
“So we just got great news, everybody, great news,” said Jacob Gouchenour in a Facebook live video on Monday. “The Mesa police just called — they found Maddie and William.”
Gouchenour said he and his family were on their way to pick up his son.
On June 16, Madeline’s father Roland Jones reported his daughter and her son missing, claiming that she was stressed about her impending divorce. He blamed her ex-husband for the disappearance and asked for the Mesa Police Department’s help.
After a deeper investigation and search warrants on electronics in the Jones’ home, police determined Roland and his wife were lying about what happened — Madeline had fled with William to avoid joint custody after the divorce.
Last week, police filed probable-cause-statements with a court indicating they would seek criminal charges against Roland and Cassandra Jones for false reporting and custodial interference, as well as Madeline for custodial interference.
Madeline remained missing, and her parents were not immediately taken into custody until they were caught attempting to board a flight at Sky Harbor Airport last week.
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