Texas Girl Allegedly Kidnapped by Mother Found Safe

Savannah Hurley's mother abducted her when CPS came to take custody. police say.

ByABC News
November 20, 2012, 10:26 AM

Nov. 20, 2012 — -- An 11-year-old Texas girl, Savannah Hurley, who was the subject of an Amber Alert after police say she was was abducted by her mother, has been found safe, and her mother is in custody.

A Child Protective Services spokesperson in Trinity County told ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston that Savannah was found there this afternoon. No other details were immediately avaiable.

"It was a child custody thing," Trinity County Chief Deputy Billy Patton told ABCNews.com earlier today. "They were going to remove the kid from the mother and the grandmother got involved."

Patton said that when authorities and Child Protective Services arrived at the house of the girl's mother, Shelly Jean Hurley, 46, in The Woodlands, Texas, to take Savannah, the little girl was not there.

"The mother jumped in a car and headed to the grandmother's house," Patton said. "The grandmother gave the child to the mother and they were gone. They left and we had no idea which direction they went in."

Patton would not say why CPS was taking Savannah away from her mother. Savannah's maternal grandmother is in custody for allegedly interfering with child custody.

Hurley took off with Savannah in a white Ford pickup truck, but police found that car and said that Hurley had switched to a 1996 maroon Subaru Legacy station wagon with an Alabama license plate.

When police located the Legacy in Mesquite, just outside Dallas, neither Savannah nor her mother were found there.

Investigators said they believe the duo initially fled to The Woodlands area and started heading north, according to KTRK. They said they thought Hurley might have been planning to eventually take Savannah to Florida.

About 200 miles north of The Woodlands, in Greenville, Savannah's paternal grandmother had been looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with her granddaughter.

"She was supposed to come here today for Thanksgiving and then all this happened and I don't know what's going on," a distraught Janice Hurley told ABCNews.com. "Her mother loves her and would never hurt her. She's just not thinking straight at all and she's not doing what's best for Savannah at all."

Janice Hurley declined to comment on whether Shelly Jean Hurley is a good mother, saying, "My first concern is Savannah."

She described Savannah as a "sweet little girl" whose friends and family are worried about her.

"When she lived here, she was in cheerleading and in a gym class and a good student in school," the grandmother said.