A mother in Washington state claims two people tried to kidnap her four-year-old son by posing as Child Protection Services agents.
Mum Jessi McCombs said the two people, a man followed by a woman, turned up at her house at around 7.30am on Monday, August 19. The woman did the talking, reportedly saying they were there to take her son into protective custody.
However, when Jessi asked the agents to show her some identification, they refused.
According to Jessi, the agents said they were there because of her four-year-old son’s injuries, and were going to take him into custody. Jessi’s son, however, didn’t have any injuries.
She told KIRO 7:
[I] thought for sure [the agent] had the wrong house until she told me his name and birthday. I asked her, ‘Can you show me some identification? Can you show me this order that you supposedly have?’ She refused to show me that.
These people were potentially trying to just snatch my kid, so I started panicking.
Jessi said she then pretended to phone 911, at which point ‘they left in a hurry down the stairs’.
Marysville police are now investigating the incident. According to officers, ‘the complainant’ gave written and recorded statements, with the police saying they ‘noted several inconsistencies in those statements, and have been unable to verify other information’.
The Department of Children, Youth, and Families said Child Protective Services (DCYF) told KIRO 7 it does not have any open cases involving Jessi or her child.
In a statement, they said:
In situations where a child must be removed from their home, DCYF staff are accompanied by law enforcement. DCYF staff always carry agency identification and cannot remove a child from their home without a court order signed by a judge or by law enforcement taking a child into custody per RCW 26.44.050.
According to the mum, the pair of fake agents left in a black Ford Crown Victoria, though she was unable to see the license plate number. At that time, Jessi said, ‘adrenaline just pretty much took over,’ adding, ‘I wanted to get my son somewhere safe.’
Police in the area say they have not had any other reports of CPS agents trying to take children as of yet.
In a statement, city authorities said:
Before allowing any unknown individual into your home, it’s always a good idea to check for photo identification. If in doubt call the office of who they are saying they represent and ask for confirmation. If you are still not satisfied call 911 or the non-emergency number and ask for an officer to come out and check credentials.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.