Missing Boy Found Safe in Florida 2 Years After He Was Allegedly Kidnapped by His Mother

Matthew Hale and his mother, Christina Hale
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children/Orange County Sheriff's Office

A boy who disappeared two years ago in Massachusetts has been found safe in Florida. 

Matthew Hale, now 5, was allegedly abducted by his mother, Christina, in September 2016 after his father won full custody of him, according to NECN.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said it received an anonymous tip that the boy was in Florida. Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office descended on the home and an arrest was made. 

Matthew is now with the Department of Children and Families, which is working on reuniting him with his father. 

"For the father, this is a good relief for him to know that his child is OK and is in good health," Master Deputy Ingrid Tejada-Monforte told Boston25News.

Warren Hale, Christina's cousin, said she showed up on his doorstep just outside Orlando about 10 months ago saying she and Matthew needed a place to stay, so he took them in. 

He was shocked when she was arrested, he told WESH2

"For the 10 months that she's been here, she's been a pure example of what a mother should be," Warren said. "... Nothing about this in my opinion was malicious."

He added that he hopes Christina can one day see little Matthew again and that Matthew's father takes good care of him. 

"She's a fantastic mother," Warren said. "... I hope and pray that if this man does have Matthew, that he is the best father that he can be. Because he deserves that."

Christina has been booked into the Orange County Jail on a kidnapping charge. She has not yet entered a plea.

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