NEW YORK — A 3-year-old boy abandoned at St. Patrick’s Cathedral will return to Florida but must remain in the care of child welfare officials because the case needs further investigation, a family court judge in New York City ruled yesterday.
Nathaniel Fons’s paternal grandparents had traveled to New York last week in the hope of taking their grandson home. Nathaniel has been in foster care in New York since he was found last Tuesday by security guards at the cathedral with a note in his hand bearing the name and number of a Florida detective.
His mother, Erin Comeau, was arrested in Flagler County, Fla., on counterfeit charges and said her friends had been traveling with Nathaniel. They are suspected of ditching him at the famed Fifth Avenue landmark before skipping town.
Nathaniel’s father is also in jail on separate charges. Comeau initially said she was comfortable with the paternal grandparents, Donald and Frieda Fons, caring for Nathaniel, but changed her mind and would now rather have him placed with her mother, who lives in Port Deposit, Md.
Caseworkers with the Administration for Children’s Services in New York said Nathaniel didn’t have any memories of the couple and didn’t seem particularly desperate to be with them.