Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brooklyn mom denies involvement in case of missing son, but offers information on possible locations

Oates for News
Jennifer Rodriguez denies she had anything to do with the disappearance of her son, 7-year-old Patrick Alford (click the link at the bottom of the page, for his pic and full article.)
A Brooklyn mom jailed in the disappearance of her 7-year-old son still denies she spirited him away from a foster home - but coughed up some addresses where he might be hiding.

The judge who sent her to Rikers Island wasn't satisfied, and ruled Friday that Jennifer Rodriguez will stay behind bars at least until another hearing on Monday.

"She wants to continue to cooperate. I've asked her to rack her brain," Rodriguez's lawyer, Anthony Morisano, said in Staten Island Family Court.

"But she can only provide what she knows."

The boy, Patrick Alford, vanished Jan. 22 from the lobby of the Spring Creek Development in Starrett City, Brooklyn, where he was living with a foster family.

Rodriguez denied she had anything to do with it, but the Administration for Children's Services doesn't believe her, and Judge Terrence McElrath tossed her in jail for contempt.

"I don't believe bail is appropriate under civil contempt," McElrath said as her lawyer pleaded for her release at a hearing Friday.

"The purpose of civil contempt is to hold someone until they comply."

Rodriguez lost custody of Patrick after she was arrested on theft charges and ACS found he was neglected and put him in foster care.

The day after he disappeared, Rodriguez knocked on the door of the foster home - even though she supposedly didn't know where he lived, ACS caseworker Carlene Anderson testified Friday.
Rodriguez had also asked her son in a phone call what public transportation he took while staying with the foster family.

"The mother was trying to find out how they traveled," the caseworker said.

Relatives say they found the foster family's apartment by accident - while handing out missing posters - and that Rodriguez was not with them.

"I just hope he's safe, warm and okay," said Patrick's aunt Claudia Ortiz, 29. "He's a beautiful kid. He and his sister love, adore, their mother.

"Jennifer would do anything for those kids," she said.

The NYPD has been scouring the neighborhood and family addresses in Florida and Baltimore, hoping to find the grade-schooler.

They have also deployed helicopters and boats in nearby swamps on the premise that Patrick wandered away on his own - which McElrath doubts.

"I don't think a 7-year-old is out on his own in this cold weather caring for himself," the judge said. "He's with someone."

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