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Ex-boyfriend hopes Mindy McCready gets 'back on her path'

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 1:57 PM EST, Sun December 4, 2011
Singer Mindy McCready has fought a public battle against drug addiction and does not have legal custody of her son.
Singer Mindy McCready has fought a public battle against drug addiction and does not have legal custody of her son.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Everyone has the ability to make positive changes in their life," Billy McKnight says
  • McKnight is the father of Mindy McCready's 5-year-old son
  • McCready took her son late last month, but she does not have legal custody

(CNN) -- Mindy McCready's ex-boyfriend says he's hoping the country music singer will "get back on her path so she can be a part of our son's life."

Authorities found McCready with her son hiding in a closet in a home in Heber Springs, Arkansas early Saturday, according to David Rahbany, the chief deputy U.S. Marshal in eastern Arkansas.

They took 5-year-old Zander McCready into custody based on an emergency "pickup order" signed by a Florida judge Thursday.

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

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"As we move forward from this incident, please remember that everyone has the ability to make positive changes in their life," Billy McKnight, the boy's father, said in a statement posted on his website Saturday.

McKnight, who is also a country artist, said his "new single 'Lay It Down' talks about battling your demons and it is my wish that this ordeal will help Mindy get back on her path so she can be a part of our son's life."

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.

McKnight, who told CNN Friday that he has "a really good relationship" with the McCready's mother and stepfather, said his son has been "very happy" living with them and shows no signs of abuse or neglect.

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."

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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