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Mindy McCready ordered to return son or risk arrest

November 30, 2011 | 12:11 pm

Mindy McCready

Mindy McCready has been ordered to return her 5-year-old son to authorities by Thursday evening or risk arrest, authorities in Florida said Wednesday after the country singer and her son went missing.

In the face of stories about a missing persons report being filed on her and son Zander, McCready told "Access Hollywood" on Wednesday that there was no such report, and that she was working with lawyers to straighten out the mess.

"I did not steal my child, as it would be impossible for me to kidnap what already belongs to me!," she reportedly said via email. "There never was any missing persons report and never an Amber Alert."

McCready reportedly took Zander from her father's house Tuesday night. McCready's mother reportedly has custody, with Mindy allowed visitation at her dad's house. A Department of Children and Families representative said the agency asked for an emergency pickup order, which a judge granted, setting a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline for McCready to voluntarily return the boy to Lee County.

Cape Coral Police Lt. Tony Sizemore told the Associated Press that so far, there's "no criminal act."

"There's a lot more questions than answers at this point," he said.

The boy has been the subject of a years-long custody battle, according to WINK News, a local station that in May said Billy McKnight, Zander's father, was "close to getting sole custody" after passing court-ordered drug tests. WINK said Wednesday that there had been no Amber Alert issued, as authorities were aware that the boy was with his mom.

McCready in June reportedly filed suit against her mother, Gayle Inge, and the company that owns the National Enquirer over a story that said the singer didn't deserve to get custody of her son.

McCready --  who made headlines with a sex tape released in March 2010, right before her comeback album "I'm Still Here" hit the market -- has struggled with drug abuse, various arrests and, according to her mother, multiple suicide attempts. McCready fought release of the tape, which was notable because it included her talking about an alleged relationship with baseball player Roger Clemens.

The singer was hospitalized in May 2010 after what her mom said was a prescription-drug overdose; earlier that year McCready had been a cast member on Season 3 of "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," on which she was billed as a person whose only true addiction was to violent relationships.

She told "Access" at the time that Dr. Drew Pinsky had diagnosed her "as a person who has co-dependency. The new age term is a 'love addict.' "


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Mindy McCready onstage in Nashville. Credit: Mark Humphrey / Associated Press