ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - By the time authorities took country singer Mindy McCready's 5-year-old son from her and into custody on Friday evening, one thing had already become apparent: her life has come to resemble a bad country song.
Since her emergence in the mid-1990s as a honey-voiced success story out of Nashville, McCready has been increasingly known for her personal troubles instead of her music.
This week's custody battle, where McCready took her son from his Florida home, was the latest in her brushes with the law.
Florida Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Terri Durdaller wrote in an email Saturday that her agency was working with Arkansas state officials to bring McCready's son, Zander, back to his legal guardian, McCready's mother.
Officials say the boy is safe and in good health after he and McCready were found in a bedroom closet of an unoccupied Arkansas home.
"Zander is in Arkansas and we continue to arrange his swift arrival back to Florida," Durdaller wrote.
In Arkansas, Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss said Saturday that McCready didn't have permission to be in the unoccupied summer home where she was found Friday evening with her son. Authorities continue to investigate, he said.
The sheriff's office said in a news release Saturday that McCready had been a visitor to the area. Authorities located her after receiving a report of "possible occupants in a summer home that was supposed to be unoccupied," the news release said.
Moss told The Associated Press on Saturday that he doesn't expect that McCready will face any charges for being at the unoccupied home.
Gayle Inge, McCready's mother, was tearful Friday night.
"I'm real excited that he's safe," she said. "But I can't explain what this is like. We feel for Mindy and we feel for Zander."
Inge said that her son - McCready's half-brother - texted McCready, who responded with a text that said her mother would never see her again.
"I want to wrap my arms around her and tell her that I love her," Inge said.
McCready, who turned 36 on Wednesday, did not respond to emails Friday and Saturday.
Authorities say McCready took the boy during a visit late last month to her father's Florida home, where she was allowed to visit the boy. McCready's parents are divorced.
A Florida judge signed an order Thursday telling authorities to take the boy into custody and return him. It's not yet clear whether the singer could face criminal charges.