Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Officer Arrested after Amber Alert for Son; St. Johns Public Information Officer Accused of Taking Boy in Violation of Order

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Officer Arrested after Amber Alert for Son; St. Johns Public Information Officer Accused of Taking Boy in Violation of Order

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Daraskevich, Dana Treen & Jim Schoettler

A veteran St. Johns County sheriff's sergeant, who is one of the public faces of the agency and has been institutionalized twice in the past few months for mental health concerns, is now dealing with a kidnapping charge after taking her son in violation of a custodial court order.

Catherine Lynn Payne, 37, was arrested Tuesday night in Nassau County after calling authorities when she learned an Amber Alert had been issued for the 6-year-old boy. Payne's husband, whom she is divorcing, had reported his son missing from St. Augustine and authorities couldn't reach Payne, Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said.

Mulligan, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office and co-worker with Payne in the agency's public information office, said the Amber Alert was canceled less than 30 minutes after it was issued. Payne and the boy were found safe in the parking lot of a Nassau restaurant where she was waiting for authorities.

She was booked into the Nassau County jail on $5,000 bail.

A judge ordered Payne to be transferred to St. Johns County and required her to wear a GPS-monitoring device Wednesday morning, according to Times-Union news partner First Coast News.

Mulligan said there is no indication Payne ever intended to harm the child, who was returned to his father, a state trooper. Payne and Phillip G. Payne filed for divorce in September, according to court records.

According to the divorce petition, the Paynes married in 2007 and have been separated since July 2013.

Phillip Payne filed for divorce and said he wanted their 6 1/2 year-old son's visits with his mother to be supervised.

He said in court documents that she was taken for treatment Aug. 28 under the state's Baker Act, which allows for temporary confinement, after being seen planting beer bottles and cans in a neighbor's flower bed at 4 a. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.