Abducted Boy Found 13 Years Later: Grandmother Arrested

Life After Loss

Life After A Florida boy who was kidnapped as an infant 13-years-ago by his biological grandmother has finally been reunited with his dad. For the past 13 years his 60-year-old grandmother, Sandy Hatte, has been posing as the boy’s mother. Reports say the two of them have moved around several times before landing in Livingston, Missouri.

They had only been in Livingston for about 30 days when a school official became uncomfortable with the enrollment process for the now teen. Once the official became suspicious the school contacted the local sheriff’s office in Livingston County and an investigation was launched.

The child was taken by authorities on Wednesday in lieu of the investigation. Information was obtained by Missouri and other area courts as well as other law enforcement agencies. These support efforts confirmed the theory that the boy matched the child that had been abducted from Florida in 2000.

The boy’s father was at work when his son went missing. The grandmother was supposedly watching the boy while the father worked when she decided to kidnap him and off she went. The father came home and she was gone with his son and he hadn’t heard from them since. Detectives say the father never stopped searching for his son but every time he got close to finding them Hatte would relocate.

According to Detective Eric Menconi, Hatte was homeless and then connected with a friend of another friend and moved into his home in Chillicothe, Missouri. The man offered them a place to stay but had no idea that Hatte was running from the law with the boy until the police knocked on his door.

Although there are no apparent signs that Hatte physically abused the boy many signs will soon show that she did mentally abuse him. This grandmother robbed a child of years with his father. There had to have been many lies told to the boy defending her scheme. The good thing is kids are very resilient but still the boy has to adapt, again, to a new normal after having lived a life of instability.

After all he’s endured and now being reunited with his biological father he will have to sort through periods of uncertainty. This can be difficult because a tragic moment can rob people of who they are. The beauty of a new normal, however, is it allows people an opportunity to redefine themselves.

This young boy and his dad don’t have to enter their next season of life carrying around the outdated memory of the pain of their past but can now transition with the confidence that there is something better on the horizon for them after many years of separation.

Here are a few ways that can lead to a smoother transition after a tragic experience:

  • Take ownership if your story: People have come from many experiences and everyone has a story which often prompts society to categorize and label them. Don’t allow that to happen because ultimately it robs you of your individuality. Your journey comes with a cost and as a result it’s your story. Don’t run from it; own it, learn from it and build upon it.
  • Make the necessary edits for a better future: One of the worst things people do is allow another to write the next chapter of their story for them. Don’t allow people to tell you what to do solely based on their past. Be open for advice from those qualified to help but in order for real change to happen you have to make the necessary changes or edits that will lead you into a profitable future. This is your life; you own the manuscript and are the one responsible for making the edits that don’t coincide with your view of a better tomorrow.
  • Don’t allow yesterday to define tomorrow: Don’t act like things didn’t go wrong. The first step to any healing process is to accept the truth. It did happen and it caused pain and discomfort. Don’t allow the story to end there. Begin planning the next phase of your life. Yesterday may have happened to you but it doesn’t have to define tomorrow. Decide what’s next for you and then get busy living.

Life happens but the fact that people have the heart to get up and keep going in proof positive that tragedy cannot keep a great person down. There is life after. The probe of this school official led to the arrest of the boy’s grandmother, which represents his yesterday and a reunion with his father, which represents a new tomorrow.

Hatte was arrested while law enforcement went to pick up the boy at school. Hatte is now in custody being held on $25,000 bond. The detectives successfully contacted the boy’s father who is living in Alabama. The dad traveled to Chillicothe this week to be reconnected with his child.

Initially the boy was very confused but is happy to be reunited with his dad and seems to be adjusting well. Menconi said, it was a good reunion and he could tell within the first few minutes that they connected pretty quickly.

Hatte is being charged with felony child abduction and is held being at the Davies/DeKalb County Jail on $25,000 bond. A father and son have been reunited after 13 years of separation and are adjusting well.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
OP-ED

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