A Marysville, Washington, mother posted a warning to social media after she said two strangers, a woman followed by a man, showed up to her home and claimed to be Child Protective Services workers who were there to take her 4-year-old son.
"Said she was with CPS and that she was there about my son's injuries and that they were to take him into protective custody," said Jessi McCombs, who told KIRO-TV in an interview that her son did not have any injuries.
Marysville police confirmed to KIRO-TV that they are now investigating the encounter that reportedly happened at an apartment complex along State Avenue near 120th Street about 7:30 a.m. Monday.
"Thought for sure she had the wrong house until she told me his name and birthday," said McCombs, who added that she was initially confused. "I asked her, ‘Can you show me some identification? Can you show me this order that you supposedly have?' She refused to show me that."
McCombs said both were dressed professionally, and the woman did all the talking, but her refusal to show credentials only added to the skepticism.
"These people were potentially trying to just snatch my kid, so I started panicking," said McCombs, who told us she then pretended to call 911. "She said, ‘We'll come back later,' and they left in a hurry down the stairs."
A spokesperson for The Department of Children, Youth, and Families said Child Protective Services does not have any open cases involving McCombs and released a statement to KIRO-TV that said in part:
"In situations where a child must be removed from their home, DCYF staff are accompanied by law enforcement. DCYF staff always carry agency identification and cannot remove a child from their home without a court order signed by a judge or by law enforcement taking a child into custody per RCW 26.44.050."
McCombs said the pair left in a black Ford Crown Victoria, but she was not able to see a license plate number from her window. She told KIRO-TV that she doesn't know why someone would pose as a CPS worker to target her son.
"Adrenaline just pretty much took over," said McCombs. "I wanted to get my son somewhere safe."
Marysville police say they have not received any additional reports of bogus CPS workers trying to take children in the city. A police department spokesperson told KIRO-TV by email:
"Before allowing any unknown individual into your home, it's always a good idea to check for photo identification. If in doubt call the office of who they are saying they represent and ask for confirmation. If your still not satisfied call 911 or the non-emergency number and ask for an officer to come out and check credentials."
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