Mindy McCready now faces serious legal trouble after missing a judge's deadline to return her 5-year-old son Zander to Florida, but the troubled country singer has given no indication if or when she plans to bring him home.
Authorities are now calling this case a parental abduction. The FBI has released a missing person poster and Lee County, Fla., family court judge James Seals has signed a new order, telling law enforcement nationwide to take Zander into custody upon sight.
McCready responded by saying she's willing to risk jail to protect her son.
"I'm a mom first," she told The Associated Press Thursday from Nashville. "No matter what happens, I'm going to protect my kid. If I have to go to jail, so be it."
In an e-mail to AP, McCready wrote, "I'm doing all this to protect Zander, not stay out of trouble. I don't think I should be in trouble for protecting my son in the first place."
McCready could end up pregnant behind bars. The singer told the wire service she cannot travel because she's nearly seven months pregnant with twins. The babies' father is believed to be McCready's music producer boyfriend David Wilson, according to the New York Daily News.
The Florida Department of Children and Families told ABC News, "Once the child is located, we will pick him up and bring him back to Florida. His safety and well-being are our number one priority."
The boy's father and McCready's ex-boyfriend Billy McKnight told NBC Friday that he spoke on the phone with the singer and their boy after the judge's deadline expired.
"He did sound healthy and ok. He wasn't crying or scared," McKnight said about Zander.
"I think she believes she has a case and doesn't realize she's pushing her luck on this one," he added.
McCready has been involved in a messy custody battle over the boy with her mother, Gayle Inge, and her ex. Zander lives in Cape Coral, Fla., with his grandmother, who has legal custody of him. He is allowed to stay with his father on occasion, but can only see McCready on supervised visits.
"Zander is used to being in Florida with me and her mother. I'm worried about him being moved around," McKnight told HLN Thursday.
In a statement Wednesday, McCready's spokeswoman told ABC News that the singer is keeping the boy out of concern for his safety.
"Since at least January 2011, Ms. McCready has been desperately advising the court, and others involved in the Ft. Myers, Florida proceedings, that Zander is in danger, both physically and emotionally, at Inge's home. As a direct result of being a mother (not an actress, not a singer), Ms. McCready took action to ensure her son's safety," the singer's spokeswoman Kat Atwood said.
Inge has denied the abuse allegations.
Atwood also said, "McCready and son are safe, healthy and comfortable."
At some point during a visit on Tuesday, McCready took Zander and fled to Nashville.
Seals ordered McCready to return to Lee County, Fla., by 5 p.m. Thursday, but the singer has now made it clear that she has no intention of doing that.
McCready could face felony charges for violating the court order and taking her son out of state, but right now authorities tell ABC News that they are focused on finding Zander.
Mindy McCready Defies Court Order
"Mom has violated the court's custody order and we are simply restoring the child back into our custody," the judge wrote in the new order. "Nothing more. Nothing less. The court makes no judgment about whether Mom will or will not competently care for the child while in her custody. It only wants the child back where the court placed him."
McCready scored a number-one Billboard country hit in 1996 with "Guys Do It All the Time."
But in recent years, the country crooner has received more media attention for her troubled personal life than her music.
She has been arrested multiple times on drug charges and probation violations and has been hospitalized for overdoses several times, including most recently in 2010, when she was found unconscious at her mother's home after taking a painkiller and muscle relaxant.
The singer's struggle with substance abuse was broadcast last year on the third season of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."
McCready also claimed to have carried on a decade-long affair with baseball star Roger Clemens that began was she was 15 and he was 28. Clemens, a former Boston Red Sox pitcher known as "the Rocket," denied that the relationship was sexual in nature.
In August, the singer filed a libel suit against her mother and the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc., over a story that quoted Inge.
"You know what, I don't think I'm ever going to be one of those people that has a normal, quiet existence," McCready told ABC Radio last year. "I've been chosen for some reason to be bigger and larger than life in every way. Negative and positive."