And his grandmother wants to remedy that as soon as possible.
"Currently, our grandson is in foster care with strangers with the State of Arkansas," McCready's mother and stepfather, Gayle and Michael Inge, said in a statement obtained by E! News. "We would like to express our gratitude to the Florida Department of Children and Families for its effort in this case and also to the Arkansas foster family for their help in taking care of our grandson. We would like to plea for his return to Florida before Christmas."
McCready lost custody of Zander, her son with ex Billy McKnight, in 2007 after a series of run-ins with the law. At the end of November, the pregnant singer picked the child up from her father's house in Florida and left the state, ultimately ending up at the lake home of her current boyfriend in Arkansas.
After authorities caught up with them, Zander was placed in protective foster care while the custody mess is sorted out—and his grandma, who has denied all allegations made by her daughter that Zander isn't safe with them—thinks Christmas makes for the perfect deadline!
"The accusations made by Mindy McCready against us are false and hurtful," the Inges' statement continued, in which they object to the Arkansas Department of Human Services claiming jurisdiction in what, in their opinion, is a Florida-centric case. "These accusations are the same accusations made by Mindy for the past four years and have been thoroughly investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the presiding judge in our grandson's case. We cannot get into specifics due to confidentiality in any child dependency matter."
"Our grandson is in the custody of strangers for the Holidays," the couple continued. "This is the first time in his life he has been with strangers. It is hard for us as a family to see how in any way this is the best interest of our grandson. He is only a 5-year-old boy. He has been stolen by his mother, recovered from authorities hiding in a closet, then put in the care of strangers. How could this possibly be in the best interest of our grandson?
"In custody and dependency matters justice delayed is often a failure of justice. Please join us in our prayers that the Arkansas court can reach its decision on the UCCJEA issue sooner rather than later so our grandson can return home to us, his family and friends in Lee County for the holidays."
When authorities caught up with McCready, McKnight—Zander's father—said on Today, "I think she believes that she has a case and doesn't realize that she's pushing her luck on this one...I got it back on track and my life is in order, she has that same opportunity, and instead of taking it, she chooses to abut it, and I wish she would do what's right, especially for our son."