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Police: Sanford mother of missing child arrested

Sanford child missing, mother arrested (WFTV Orlando)
Sanford child missing, mother arrested (WFTV Orlando)
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Updated: 2/11 8:00 am

SANFORD, Fla. (WFTV) — 

Authorities said they're searching for a missing child after an investigation into a Sanford family revealed one of four children is unaccounted for. The child's mother has been arrested.

Rachel Fryer, 32, of Sanford, was arrested early Tuesday morning by detectives from the Sanford Police Department.

Investigators said she is charged with aggravated child abuse and was booked into the Seminole County Jail without bond.

Early Tuesday morning Channel 9 learned that Sanford police were in a rural portion of Putnam County. It is believed they were there in relation to Fryer's arrest.

The Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also investigating the case.

Police said they are searching for two people, Timothy Gordon and Tonya Grooms, who may have important information regarding the whereabouts of the child, who hasn't been identified. Gordon is Fryer's boyfriend, officials said.

Willie Brown, a family member of Gordon's, told Channel 9 that Gordon has already spoken with police.

"I'm being quite honest, my brother wouldn't hurt a fly," Brown said.

The investigation began after a DCF case manager feared the children were in danger, and the Sanford Police Department was called to assist in the well-being check early Monday morning.

Investigators surrounded an apartment on Oleander Avenue near Goldsboro Boulevard and put crime scene tape up around the building.

The landlord at that location said a woman and her children have not been around for several days.

Neighbors told Channel 9 they're worried about the children but hoping for the best.

"They're adorable," said neighbor Melissa Williams. "They play with each other. They have so much fun. They're quiet. They're children. I'm just worried, I'm hoping the kids are actually fine and they're OK and all this is just a mess and it just goes away."

According to DCF, the last reported visit to the family's home was on February 6.

Fryer is expected to make her first appearance before a judge Tuesday afternoon.

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