SANFORD, Fla. – A boy taken from his Houston family home by his father in 2017 was found safe Saturday morning in Sanford, police officials said.
Sanford police officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle on Saturday morning when they said they found Joshua Graham, 9, with his father, Kenneth Graham, 52.
Police say Kenneth Graham, a noncustodial parent, left Texas with Joshua at the end of 2017 without notifying his wife, who was granted sole custody of him in February 2018.
Yolanda Graham told WKMG she and her husband were separated on Sept. 26, 2017, when she came home to find a note that read, "Gone to visit grandparents out of state."
"I couldn’t believe what I was reading," she said. "I never thought that it was going to go to this extent."
For two years, Yolanda Graham has worked with the court system to bring her son home.
It was assumed that Kenneth Graham was going to take Joshua to Tallahassee, where his parents lived, but Yolanda Graham later learned that her husband was kicked out of his parents' home in December 2017 and that he Joshua were homeless and living in the Sanford area.
Texas law enforcement in Houston listed Joshua as missing this month with the status of "abducted by a non-custodial parent."
According to police, Joshua is in the custody of Child Protective Services while he waits to be reunited with his mother. Officials say the state of Texas may file criminal charges at a later date.
Yolanda Graham, her two daughters and her son-in-law, are driving to Sanford from Houston to pick up Joshua.
“We’re all taking turns (driving)," Yolanda Graham told WKMG. "We’re just headed straight to Orlando to get Joshua, and we’re anxious."
As for how Joshua is handling the situation, his mother said he is excited but they have a long road ahead.
"Physically, he looks fine but psychologically, we don’t know," she said. "All we know is I’m going to seek counseling for him."
The mother can't wait to be reunited with her son and doesn't plan on dwelling on the past.
"It’s only by the grace of God that everything changed," Yolanda Graham said.
Posted by Sanford Police Department on Saturday, March 30, 2019