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Mindy McCready Misses Court Deadline to Return Son

A court order has been signed by a Lee County, Fla., judge to take Mindy McCready‘s 5-year-old son into custody and return him to his grandmother. The troubled country singer missed her 5:00 PM deadline Thursday (Dec. 1) to bring Zander back to her mother, who has had legal custody of the boy since 2007.

“As quickly as folks can find the child, we’ll just as quickly return the child,” Children’s Network spokeswoman Aimee McLaughlin tells Fort Meyers’ News-Press. “Then, we will make arrangements to bring child home in the least traumatic and least stressful way.”

Florida authorities are now most likely working with police in Nashville, Tenn., to find Mindy and Zander. The singer told the Associated Press she has been in Music City with her son since shortly after Thanksgiving. She claims she took him for his own safety, accusing her mother of physical and emotional abuse. Her mother, Gayle Inge, vehemently denies those claims.

“I’m doing all this to protect Zander, not stay out of trouble,” Mindy wrote in an email to the Associated Press. “I don’t think I should be in trouble for protecting my son in the first place.”

Zander’s father, Billy McKnight, does agree that his son is safe with the singer. He told NBC’s ‘Today’ show that he spoke to his ex and their son over the phone yesterday.

“He did sound healthy and OK. He wasn’t crying or scared,” Billy insisted. “I think she believes she has a case and doesn’t realize she’s pushing her luck on this one.”

Mindy also contends that she cannot obey the court order because she is too pregnant to travel. The ‘Guys Do It All the Time’ singer claims to be seven months pregnant with twins, though her rep tells People magazine she’s only six months along.

Since selling more than two million copies of her ‘Ten Thousand Angels’ album in the mid ’90s, Mindy has gone from country star to tabloid fixture. She has been jailed twice on drug and alcohol-related crimes and hospitalized twice for alleged suicide attempts. She weathered countless media headlines when a decade-long affair with married baseball star Roger Clemens was exposed, along with the embarrassment of a leaked sex tape less than a year later. She has sued her mother and the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., over a story titled ‘Mindy McCready Doesn’t Deserve to Have Child Back.’ And she was once arrested for allegedly assaulting her mother.

Mindy seemingly turned her life around last year after successfully kicking her drug and alcohol addictions on the reality TV show, ‘Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.’ She released a new album, ‘I’m Still Here,’ in the spring of 2010 and started work on her own reality show, a book and a movie. “All of these things are tools to get across to the world: this is who I really am,” Mindy told The Boot last year. “If you’re going to love me, then love me for who I really am. If you’re going to hate me, then hate me knowing all of the facts, and not because of some story you heard. I want people to not count me out and not pass judgment until they hear the real story and they really do know me.”

Watch Mindy McCready’s ‘Ten Thousand Angels’ Video

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