A Dakota County, Minnesota, man who is charged with child abandonment after he allegedly moved to California in July, leaving his 11-year-old son behind, was sent to jail on $6,000 bail by a district court judge on Sep. 12. The judge also barred the defendant, 60, from having visitation with his son unless social services workers approve. Who will take custody of the boy is still undetermined following his mother’s recent reemergence.
We have been closely following this case in this blog, most recently posting about it on Sep. 2. On July 18, the son awoke in his Lakeville to find his father gone and a pair of letters telling him that he should go to live with a neighbor family. The letters also asked the neighbors to take custody of the child, though he had not discussed it with them beforehand. Child services placed him in the custody of an aunt following a July 27 child-protection hearing.
Authorities said the father left due to financial problems, including the impending loss of his house to foreclosure. He was found working in a deli in California and arrested on Aug. 29. He waived extradition and was taken back to Minnesota.
In his first court appearance on Sep. 12, the Dakota County District Court judge handling the case set bail at $6,000, but said the father could post bond based on $5,000 bail if he pledges not to leave the state again and not try to contact his son until social services approve the meeting. His next court appearance has been scheduled for Oct. 19.
Shortly after the defendant’s arrest, his former wife called county officials and indicated she might fight for custody of her son, whom she had not seen since 2002, when her visitation rights were terminated. The father reportedly told the boy that his mother had died, though he revealed the truth in one of the letters with oversight from a commercial litigation attorney.