1. Archive

Mother pleads guilty to taking daughter, 7

(ran SS edition of METRO & STATE)

A mother accused of abducting her 7-year-old daughter from school in January and keeping her for 15 days pleaded guilty to interfering with child custody Monday.

Debra McCauley, 36, was accused of taking her daughter, Sarah McCauley, on Jan. 9 after the child's father, Mike McCauley, dropped her off at Carrollwood Elementary School. Sarah's classmates decorated the school's trees with yellow ribbons after the girl disappeared. Sarah was found Jan. 24 in Stafford, Va., with her mother, who did not have legal custody.

Monday, McCauley pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months of house arrest, 2{ years of probation and 100 hours of community service. The judge ordered her to have no contact with the child until custody proceedings have been completed.

McCauley will be transported to Manatee County, where she faces a charge of violating her probation on an unrelated charge.