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Mindy McCready's son found in Arkansas

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:56 AM EST, Sat December 3, 2011
Zander McCready and his mother were found hiding in a closet, authorities say.
Zander McCready and his mother were found hiding in a closet, authorities say.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The singer is found hiding in a closet with her son
  • The house in Arkansas was under surveillance before the 5-year-old was found
  • McCready took her son late last month, but she does not have legal custody

(CNN) -- Country music singer Mindy McCready was hiding in the closet with her son when authorities took the 5-year-old boy into custody in Arkansas, officials said early Saturday.

Authorities found Zander McCready and his mother in a home in Heber Springs, Arkansas, according to David Rahbany, the chief deputy U.S. Marshal in eastern Arkansas.

"The child appeared to be in good condition when we found him ... he was in the closet with his mother," Rahbany said.

Local sheriffs and marshals had placed the home -- believed to belong to the singer's boyfriend -- under surveillance for hours before they found the boy late Friday, he said.

The boy is in the custody of the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services, who will make arrangements to take him to his legal guardian in Florida, his maternal grandmother.

Until recently, the boy has been living with Mindy McCready's mother and stepfather, Gayle and Michael Inge, who have legal custody. The singer, who has fought a public battle against drug addiction, has visitation rights.

McCready took her son from her mother's Florida home late last month and asked a court to restore custody to her out of concern over the boy's safety.

A Florida judged signed an emergency "pickup order" Thursday authorizing law enforcement officers to get the boy.

McCready's mother and stepfather said they are relieved.

"We feel sorrow for Zander because he's traumatized, and for Mindy," they said. "We just hope she does the right thing from here on out and that this is a wake-up call for her."

McCready was not charged with a crime Friday, Rahbany said, adding it is unclear whether she faces any future charges.

The singer burst on the music scene in 1996 with the debut album "10,000 Angels" and the chart-topping country hit "Guys Do It All the Time."

Her website biography says she had an "explosive relationship" with the boy's father, Billy McKnight, who is a country singer.

McCready participated in the 2009 season of the reality TV show "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew."

CNN's Tom Watkins, Phil Gast, Michael Martinez, Selin Darkalstanian, Dave Alsup and Vivian Kuo contributed to this report.

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