- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities say country singer Mindy McCready is missing with her 5-year-old son, and a judge has given her until Thursday to return the boy.

The state Department of Children and Families says a missing persons report was filed with Cape Coral police Tuesday night after McCready took her son Zander from her father’s home.

McCready doesn’t have custody of her son — her mother does — and the singer was allowed to visit the boy at her father’s home, according to a department spokesman. On Tuesday, DCF discovered that McCready and the boy were not at her father’s home.

DCF spokesman Terry Field told The Associated Press the agency asked a Lee County judge for an emergency pickup order, and the judge ruled McCready must return the boy voluntarily by 5 p.m. Thursday or risk an arrest warrant.

Cape Coral Police Lt. Tony Sizemore said that so far, there’s “no criminal act.”

“There’s a lot more questions than answers at this point,” he said.

Cape Coral is on Florida’s Gulf coast, about 120 miles northwest of Miami.

The singer’s brother, Josh McCready, told The Associated Press in a private Facebook message that his sister was “fine.”

Mindy is fine and so is Zander. There is nothing to worry about,” he wrote.

Since topping the country charts in the mid-1990s with her music, the troubled 36-year-old singer’s life has been filled with domestic abuse, drug and DUI arrests and a suicide attempt. In August, she filed a libel suit in Palm Beach County against her own mother and the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., over a story published in the tabloid newspaper that quoted her mother.

In 2010, she spoke with The Associated Press about her life.

“It is a giant whirlwind of chaos all the time,” she said. “I call my life a beautiful mess and organized chaos. It’s just always been like that. My entire life, things have been attracted to me and vice versa that turn into chaotic nightmares or I create the chaos myself. I think that’s really the life of a celebrity, of a big, huge, giant personality.”

In July 2007, she was accused of scuffling with her mother and resisting arrest at her mother’s home in Florida. She was sentenced to jail for 60 days for a probation violation and released; she served 30 days in jail. She also lost custody of her son.

And in 2008, McCready was admitted to a Nashville hospital after police said she cut her wrists and took several pills in a suicide attempt.

During the TV show “Celebrity Rehab 3” in 2010 McCready came off as a sympathetic figure, and host Dr. Drew Pinsky called her an angel in the season finale.

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