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Mom Who Took Kids On Illegal Cross Country Trip Returned To South Florida

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A mother who removed her son from his Cutler Bay school without permission last month and then took the boy, and his two siblings, on a cross country road trip before the police caught up with them has been returned to South Florida.

Carrie Leah Weingarth, 32, has been charged with one count of custody interference by a parent.

Weingarth is being held on $100,000 dollar bond.  The judge has ordered that she must prove that the money she puts up for the bond did not come from any criminal activity.

In February, Weingarth tried to remove her son 12-year-old Erin Pena from Gulfstream Elementary without authorization from his father.

The school denied her, but police said she sneaked back into the school and took Erin out of the cafeteria.

Then police say Weingarth and her boyfriend Christian Coello took Erin, and his two younger brothers, Derrick and Steven Pena out of the state. After about a week, police tracked them down in California. Weingarth and Coello were taken into custody and the boys were returned to their father Steven Pena.

Weingarth’s grandmother told CBS4 after her granddaughter disappeared that she could only guess why she left.

“She’s probably sorry that she did it, but she loved the kids and she was just tired of all the hassle. She was just plain tired of it all. She wanted to get out and get away,” said Lillian Weingarth.

Before the children disappeared, Pena said Erin lived with him, but the parents shared custody of the other two children.  Pena has been granted sole custody of all three children and Weingarth has been ordered to stay away from them.

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