Woman charged with kidnapping in 2016 abduction of son, deputies say

Then 3-year-old boy went missing from Massachusetts

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A woman accused of abducting her then 3-year-old son from Massachusetts in 2016 and bringing him to Central Florida was recently arrested thanks in part to an anonymous tip, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the Massachusetts Courts granted full custody of Matthew Hale to his biological father in September of 2016. On Sept. 1, 2016, authorities said Christina Hale, the child's biological mother, abducted him.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip recently that Matthew Hale was living with Christina Hale at a home on Bunting Avenue in Orlando, a news release said.

"The child is OK. The Department of Children and Families took custody of him and they’re going to reunite him with his biological father in Massachusetts,"  said Ingrid Tejada-Monforte, a spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff's Office. 

Orange County deputies said they conducted surveillance at the home and arrested Christina Hale Tuesday on an open warrant. Matthew Hale, who is now 5 years old, was found at the home in good health, according to authorities.

Christina Hale's cousin Warren Hale told News 6 that she had been living at the home for 10 months. He said Christina Warren is an affectionate mother who loves her son.

Warren Hale said his cousin never told him the child's father had full custody. Warren Hale said his cousin told him she moved down to Orlando to avoid what she called a bad relationship with her child’s father.

"There were some issues with the child coming back with bruises on him at times and she found it in the best interest to leave," Warren Hale said. 

News 6 has not been able to find any reports or arrests for abuse for the child’s father. 

Christina Hale’s family provided paperwork she filed in September 2013 ordering the child’s father to stay away from his son and his child’s mother, but the court still gave him custody years later, not her. 

Christina Hale, 40, was charged with kidnapping.

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