Jennifer Rodriguez, the non-custodial mother of missing 7-year-old Patrick Alford of Staten Island, is going to spend the weekend on Rikers Island after she failed to convince a Staten Island Family Court judge that she doesn’t know where the child is. Alford disappeared from his foster home last Friday.
The NYPD thinks Alford may have run away on his own. The Administration for Children’s Services disagrees.
ACS, who removed the child from his mother’s custody with a finding of neglect, thinks she was involved in his disappearance. ACS caseworker Carlene Anderson testified that Rodriguez both called and visited Alford’s foster home, and that she questioned her son about the public transportation route he and his foster mother took to get to ACS offices. Anderson also testified that Blanca Toledo, Rodriguez’ aunt, told her during a supervised visit that Rodriguez was planning to kidnap Alford.
Family Court Judge Terrence McElrath is also pretty sure Rodriguez was involved. He ordered her held Tuesday on contempt charges until she gives up the location of the child. She insisted to the court that she doesn’t know where he is, although she told reporters on the way out of the courthouse on Thursday that Toledo has him. Toledo says she doesn’t, and that Rodriguez was punishing her for warning ACS.
Police are searching public areas near Alford’s foster home, as well as the homes of relatives in Florida and Baltimore. Rodriguez supplied the court with more places to search on Friday, but continues to insist that she doesn’t know where he is. McElrath denied bail, at least until the next hearing on Monday.
Meanwhile, there’s a small seven-year-old child out there somewhere. If you have any information, the NYPD are asking you to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), log on to WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or text 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.