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Benton Co. Mother Defends Taking Her Child

By Heather Mathis
By hmathis@wbbjtv.com

BENTON COUNTY, Tenn. - The mother and grandmother accused of failing to return Ayden Smith, 4, to his father after visitation are back in Benton County.

Jessica Coleman and Victoria Culvahouse turned themselves in to the Benton County Sheriff's office, Tuesday morning. Both were booked on charges of custodial interference for failing to return Coleman's son last Friday.

Coleman's fear for her child's safety pushed her to not return him.

"I did what I had to do to make sure my son stayed safe. That's the only thing that matters." said Coleman

Benton County officials said they have investigated the safety of Ayden Smith before with no findings.

"The child is in protective custody from what I understand. I understand this is a child custody issue. There has been a lot of other allegations made, but this just wasn't the way to handle it." said Benton County Sheriff Tony King.

No charges have been made against anyone regarding the safety of the child.

Coleman and Culvahouse said they will still continue to fight for Ayden.
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