Women charged after child taken from Goose Creek school

Women charged after child taken from Goose Creek school
Westview Primary School (Source: http://sweetsouthcarolinateaching.blogspot.com)
Westview Primary School (Source: http://sweetsouthcarolinateaching.blogspot.com)

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Editor's Note: The charges against a second woman were later dismissed, according to court documents.

Officials with the Goose Creek Police Department have arrested two women in connection to a 4-year-old girl who was reportedly taken from Westview Primary School Thursday morning.

Investigators have charged the child's mother, 26-year-old Neely Blanchard, a resident of Florida with trespassing, disturbing school, custodial interference, conspiracy to commit custodial interference and unlawful possession of schedule IV narcotics.

Police also arrested a second Florida woman and charged her with trespassing, disturbing school, conspiracy to commit custodial interference and first-degree assault and battery. Those charges were later dismissed, according to court documents.

Authorities say Blanchard, removed her 4-year-old daughter, whom she does not have legal custody of, from Westview Primary School around 8:15 a.m. and fled in a car, driven by the second woman.

Investigators say a school employee also received minor injuries attempting to stop the suspects' car from leaving.

Police then responded to the school and took positions around the city. Around 8:45 a.m., police were notified that a trooper with the SC Highway Patrol had stopped the suspects' vehicle near mile marker 187 on I-26 westbound.

According to police, the second woman was found driving the car with Blanchard as a passenger. Investigators say Blanchard was also found in illegal possession of prescription pills.

The trooper also verified the child was safe and has since been returned to the custody of her grandmother.

Blanchard and the other woman were being held at the Hill Finklea Detention Center and are scheduled for a bond hearing Friday afternoon.

Berkeley County School District spokesperson Susan Haire said the child, a Head Start student, had been reunited with her custodial guardians. Haire said the district was notifying parents of what happened.

Haire also said the student was taken from the school before classes started.

The case is under investigation.

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