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    Missing boy found; mother is arrested

    The 2-year-old is now in state custody; he had been missing from DCF care for more than a year.

    ©Associated Press
    February 9, 2003


    FORT LAUDERDALE -- A 2-year-old boy missing from the Department of Children & Families' care for more than a year has been found and taken into state custody.

    Police on Thursday picked up Keontae Rattray, who was unharmed. The child was with his 19-year-old mother, Tracy Rattray, who had been evading authorities. A judge issued an order Oct. 24, 2001, to take the boy into custody.

    A caseworker for the state's child welfare agency saw Keontae and his mother last May and described the child as "healthy and active," according to DCF records. But the worker did not take the baby into custody, and his mother failed to appear at an August court hearing on her son.

    Detectives picked them up at a friend's apartment in Fort Lauderdale. Keontae was taken into DCF custody; his mother was charged with interference with custody, a third-degree felony.

    Tracy Rattray was released Friday from Broward County Jail after posting $1,000 bail. It was unclear if she had an attorney. She did not have a listed phone number.

    DCF spokeswoman Leslie Mann said the agency is reviewing the case.

    "We'll be looking at why, if there was a (caseworker) at the house, the child was not taken into custody," she said.

    Mann said she did not know why the judge ordered Keontae into state custody. She had no further information on the case.

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