WATERBURY -- Still no sign of a Waterbury mother who took her three children from a DCF supervised visit at a local McDonald’s and disappeared 10 days ago.
Their car, a maroon 2002 Volvo S60 with Connecticut license plate 417-YTY, has been spotted traveling down the east coast and west to Texas, but authorities still haven’t been able to find them.
The McDonald’s, on Reidville Drive, was where the visitation played out on Saturday, February 16. And the configuration of the restaurant might have played a role in their disappearance.
The restrooms inside this McDonald's are not within eye site of most of the dining room and they’re right next to an exit door, providing a perfect escape opportunity.
“We have been able to able to identify this car traveling the East Coast with McGrath in it,” said Chief Fernando Spagnolo of the Waterbury Police Department. “We did track the car down to Florida.”
Police believe Crystal McGrath, her boyfriend, Lester Joy and McGrath's children - ages, 2, 5 and 7 - stopped to visit family in St. Augustine, FL., before heading west into Texas over last weekend.
“These children certainly have gone through enough in their life,” Spagnolo added.
Deborah McGrath, Crystal McGrath‘s mother, said in a text to FOX61, that friends in Texas said the Amber Alert has been blasted out three to four times each day since it was issued Saturday.
“That’s pretty sad,” said Nefi Morales, who lives across the street from where Crystal McGrath's father used to rent a basement apartment. In fact, the father watched her children at the Birch St. residence.
“They would just play around, run around, throw rocks,” Morales said of the three children. “They’d come play with my dogs. You know they were just average kids.”
Among the concerns of cops: Crystal McGrath's boyfriend, 38 year old Lester Joy, of Waterbury.
“He does have a conviction that requires him to be registered on the national sex offender registry,” said Spagnolo.
DCF not taken disciplinary action yet against the female caseworker responsible for this supervised visit, but they said the incident is under review by human resources.
DCF notes that they conduct roughly 200 supervised visits every month and the last time a parent snatched a child and took off from one was nine years ago.