Missing Boy is Also an Abused Child - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/06/06 - Chester

Missing Boy is Also an Abused Child

by Ramonica R. Jones

Two East Texas families are in the middle of a nasty battle over a four year old boy. The child is missing and some of his relatives believe his own mother is to blame.

Terry Rust and his son Jeremiah said they first noticed bruises, marks, and scratches on Travis two years ago. Since then, they've called Children's Protective Services 22 times to report suspected abuse.

On May 25th, a jury awarded Jeremiah custody of his son, but he's only seen Travis twice since then.

"She no longer lives at her previous address, she stated that in court," Jeremiah said. "We have no address on him, don't know where she lives, don't have any contact information."

As of right now, authorities are not looking for Travis, his mother Annie Graham, or Graham's boyfriend Adam, because there is no missing person's report.

"We tried to [file a report] in Henderson," Jeremiah said. "They refused to take a missing person's report. They [said] to file a missing persons report in our county, because [that is where] the judge has jurisdiction over the child; [but] if the child is missing from Henderson, that is where the report is supposed to be filed at."

The Rusts now have to file a 'writ of attachment' so a judge will hear their case. They  said they've spent $48,000 on legal fees to get Travis, but they believe the court system has failed them.

"What's to argue about?" said Travis' grandfather Terry Rust. "The jury has already awarded custody. I don't understand it."

Jeremiah heard from his ex-wife last week. She called to say she was keeping Travis for the summer, but he said she was only allowed to have him for 30 days unless she requests more time in writing.  

If you know where to find Travis Rust or his mother, Annie Graham, you can call the child's paternal family at 936-969-2444 or 409-656-4865.

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