NCFL mother in custody after parental abduction, says Columbia County Sheriff's Office

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) - UPDATE: 12/2/19 6:00pm
A North Central Florida mother is in custody after deputies say she was involved in a parental abduction out of Volusia County.

Deputies say Margarita Gutierrez of Marion County was supposed to return her children to their grandmother after Friday's unsupervised visit.

The grandmother called Marion county deputies when the kids were not home at the required time.

The Columbia County Sheriff's office found the children and Gutierrez after a call was made reporting she had broken into a shed.

When police tried to detain her, she jumped in her car and attempted to flee, dragging a deputy.

A short chase followed, but police backed off not wanting to risk harm to the children in the car.

"It's very hazardous because they have two small children in the car and the deputy is aware of that. So, they go out and they see that she is driving off at breakneck speed and they decide not to pursue based on - we call it a 'risk versus benefit reward'. The risk was just too great for the children," said Columbia County Sheriff spokesperson, Sgt. Murray Smith.

Police found and arrested Gutierrez after she turned down a dead-end road and became trapped.

Deputies say the children are now safe.

Guiterrez is charged with fleeing, damage to property, trespassing, burglary, child neglect, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

ORIGINAL:
A North Central Florida mother is in custody after deputies say she was involved in a parental abduction out of Volusia County.

Deputies say Margarita Guiterrez of Marion County was supposed to return her children to their grandmother after an unsupervised visit in Deland on Friday.

After Guiterrez did not return the children at the required time, the grandmother called Marion County deputies.

Volusia County and Columbia County deputies also assisted in the search.

Guiterrez had lost custody of her 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son due to a violent domestic living environment.

Deputies say the children are now safe.