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Warrant Issued for Santa Barbara County Woman Who Allegedly Violated Child-Custody Agreement

A warrant has been issued for a Santa Barbara County woman after she allegedly failed to bring her 3-year-old son to a custody exchange with the child’s father in late July.

Faith Merritt, 31, is being charged with withholding a child from a parent, a violation of a court order for not abiding by the terms of a court ordered custody arrangement, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

The office announced they had filed criminal charges against the woman after she reportedly took her 3-year-old son, Maxwell DiNardo, from the Santa Barbara County area in late July 2015.  

“At that time, Faith Merritt did not exchange custody with Maxwell’s father per the terms of their custody agreement and the father lost contact with Merritt,” a statement from the DA’s office said. 

Faith Merritt

Faith Merritt and Maxwell DiNardo

The boy’s father contacted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and made a report of the missing child and the case is currently under investigation. 

A warrant has been issued for Merritt’s arrest, and she and her son are believed to be in the Northern California area.  

Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contract Santa Barbara District Attorney Investigator Jesse Rose at 805.568.2360.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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