Woman arrested in interference with custody case

Woman arrested in interference with custody case
Newport Police Department has appointed Allen Edwards as the new Chief (Source: KAIT)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - One Region 8 School is looking to make changes to their student pick-up policies after a child was taken by an unauthorized person.

According to a news release, a Newport Elementary school resource officer received a call Monday around 4:10 p.m that a student was picked up from the school by woman who was not a family member.

During the investigation, police identified the suspect as Tareea Ford and that she was at Unity Health Harris Hospital.

Chief Allen Edwards and officers with the Newport Police Department later found Ford’s vehicle in the hospital’s parking lot and found Ford inside.

The child was found unharmed and returned to her mother.

Police arrested Ford for interference with custody and taken to the Jackson County Detention Center as she awaits her first court appearance. Charges are pending at this time.

According to police, Ford’s intent for taking the child is unknown at this time.

School officials later said Ford was picking up her own children and thought the child looked lost.

She told the child she knew her mother, and said she’d take the student home.

Ford was not authorized to pick-up the child and did not sign the student out.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Kenneth James said the school is looking to make a few changes to their pick-up policy after Monday’s incident.

“In terms of where to pick up the kindergartners and the pre-k, and if you have an upper-level student we’re changing that location so that we have a better semblance of order in terms of that process,” said James.

Parents can expect a letter from the school about the new policy changes this week, and the changes will go into place started next week.

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