Missing Florida boy found safe and well in New York City cathedral

By Calvin Palmer

A three-year-old Florida boy reported missing on Monday turned up at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City last night.

Nathaniel Fons, from Flagler County, was found wandering alone by a security guard. The youngster had a crumpled note in his hand bearing his mother’s name and the name and number of a Florida detective.

Police are looking for a couple who came to the cathedral with the boy around 6:30 p.m. yesterday.

Nathaniel was reported missing after his mother, Erin Comeau, 26, and her male companion, Christopher Brandstter-Howell, 21, were arrested on charges of operating a counterfeit money operation.

Comeau said her son was in a separate car traveling with another couple also wanted in the counterfeit operation. It was unclear whether they left the child at the church.

Police today were examining security camera footage to identify the man and the woman seen at the cathedral with the boy before disappearing.

Nathaniel is in the custody of child services officials in New York. His mother signed over custody of the boy to his grandparents from jail.

His grandfather, Donald Fons, of Land O Lakes, near Tampa, Florida, said he hoped Nathaniel would be released to his custody after a hearing in New York.

Fons said the boy lived with his parents at his grandparent’s home from birth until last June, when Nathan’s father took a job on a fishing boat in Washington state. The couple moved but the father was arrested on probation violation charges and was returned to Florida.

Fons, 57, a former Denver sheriff’s deputy, and his wife, Freida, said they started proceedings to adopt the boy four months ago. At that time, Comeau took off with her son, traveling around the country.

“She’d post updates and photos on Facebook, but we could never find her,” he said.

[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]

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