Randolph County Boy Returned After Custody Miscommunication

September 10, 2004 -- Posted at: 11:10pm CDT

POCAHONTAS, AR - Around 3:00pm Friday, Donald Shane Bailey walked into the Alma Spikes Elementary School principal's office and signed out his son, Ty Bailey. The 31 year old father then went to the 6 year old boy's classroom, and both walked out the door. Moments later school officials contacted Mandy Dollins, Ty's mother.

After hearing the news, Dollins explained, "I was terrified like any mother. I feared for the safety of my son. It's the worst moment. It's a nightmare to any mother. I've had a longtime fear of this person."

The Pocahontas Police Department was also called.

Chad Mulligan, Pocahontas Police Chief, said, "We went ahead and notified the surround counties, Missouri, which is where the gentleman, the father lives. We contacted Missouri law enforcement up there, and everybody's been looking for the child."

Around 5:30pm, Chief Mulligan received a call at the Pocahontas Police Department. Donald Bailey had gone to the home of the Ripley County Sheriff to turn himself in. At that time, the boy was turned over to Missouri authorities. Donald Bailey, who goes by his middle name, Shane, said that he hadn't seen his son in months, because of an illness and treatment, and that he wanted to be with him to celebrate his birthday.

Shane Bailey explained over the phone, "It's upsetting, since I haven't seen him since December of last year, and still have his Christmas presents here. He wasn't even allowed to take his birthday presents that I had got him, other than a cross."

Chief Mulligan said no charges will be filed against Shane Bailey. His son, Ty, was returned to his mother, who has sole custody.

In response to the fact that Shane Bailey is spending another weekend with out his son, he said, "I mean, I'm sure that it will all work out, but it's just very disheartening. Just want to wish them the best. I don't wish to cause any trouble at all. I just want to see my son, have him grow up and be healthy and not scarred from this."

Even before being reunited with her son, Mandy Dollins knew what she was going to do when she saw him, "A big hug, a big hug and a kiss, and tell him I love him more than anything, and I hope it'll never happen again, and that mommy will always stay close."

Pending court appearances will determine if there will be any changes in the custody rights Mandy Dollins and Shane Bailey have with their son, Ty.