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Connecticut investigates how mom fled with 3 children

February 27, 2019

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut child welfare authorities are investigating how a woman managed to flee a supervised visit with her three children and her convicted sex-offender boyfriend.

The children have not been located since Crystal McGrath’s escape in Waterbury on Feb. 16, reported The Hartford Courant.

Texas officials issued an Amber Alert on Saturday saying the children had been spotted in Sealy, Texas, on Feb. 19 and were believed to be “in grave or immediate danger.”

Sealy is about an hour outside of Houston.

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families said McGrath left through the side door of a McDonald’s restaurant after taking the children to the bathroom.

Agency officials say McGrath was considered a low risk to violate conditions of the visit.

Her boyfriend, 38-year-old Lester Joy, was not part of the visit. Officials say he was in a waiting car outside the restaurant.

Joy is on supervised release after getting out of federal prison in 2017. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison in 2015 for failing to register his address or let other states know he had moved.

Commissioner Vanessa Dorantes said the caseworker present at McGrath’s visit will be interviewed, and agency executives are reviewing protocol.

DCF conducts more than 200 supervised visits a month. The last time a parent fled a visit was about nine years ago.

“In this instance, we are doing everything we can to assist law enforcement to quickly find the children and safely return them,” Dorantes said.

The U.S. Marshals Service is assisting in the investigation.

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Information from: Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

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