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Crime & Courts

Hernando deputies: Phony social worker tried to take child from foster home

TBO.com staff
Published:   |   Updated: April 30, 2013 at 06:56 PM

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A woman was arrested Monday after posing as a social worker who tried to get a child away from a foster home, Hernando County sheriff’s deputies said.

Linda Grass, 65, has been charged with interference with child custody. Bail was set at $500.

The day after the child was placed in the foster home because of an investigation by the state Department of Children and Families, a woman who identified herself as a social worker named Lisa Grass went to the foster home, saying she was there to take the child and reunite the child with a parent, deputies said. The person at the foster home did not believe the story, told her to leave and that they were calling law enforcement. Grass fled.

Deputies later determined that the woman had left voice mail messages on the cell phone of the juvenile in question. Grass made contact with the child in the driveway of the foster home, in an attempt to persuade the juvenile to get into Grass's vehicle, deputies said.

A witness was able to obtain a vehicle description and tag number. With this information, deputies put together a photo lineup, and witnesses identified the suspect as Linda Grass, detectives said.

Through the investigation, detectives said they learned that Grass was working with Scott Alden Smith, 51, the biological father of the juvenile. He was also charged with interference with child custody; bail was set at $1,000, according to jail records.

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