St. Patrick's Cathedral's Abandoned Boy: Nathaniel Fons Going Back to Florida, Both Parents in Jail

Nathaniel Fons, missing in Florida, turns up in New York church.
Personal Photo
Nathaniel Fons, missing in Florida, turns up in New York church.
Personal Photo

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Three-year-old Nathaniel Fons, who was abandoned last week at St. Patrick's Cathedral, is returning to Florida, but must remain in the care of child-welfare officials pending further investigation, a family court judge in New York City ruled Tuesday.

Authorities have been in contact with the couple who left the boy on the St. Patrick's doorstep last week, and have decided that Eleanor Black, 29, and her boyfriend Williams Scott, 32, will not face criminal charges.

Black told authorities she was overwhelmed traveling with the boy, as well as her own two children, so she did what she thought was right at the time. She spoke to an unidentified law-enforcement person for advice on whether St. Patrick's was a suitable place to leave the tot because the church was a safe haven, and was told it was a good idea.

Donald and Frieda Fons, Nathaniel's paternal grandparents, had traveled to New York City in hopes of bringing the young boy back with them to their home in Land O'Lakes, Florida; however, a family court judge said child welfare officials were going to take over the case to sort out who should have custody of Nathaniel.

Unfortunately for young Nathaniel, who has been in foster care in New York since he was found last Tuesday, the issue of custody is not black and white. Both of his parents are currently jailed in Florida for two separate crimes. His mother, Erin Corneau, was arrested on counterfeiting charges, and the boy's father was arrested on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender, according to Pasco County Sheriff's records.

Initially, Erin Corneau had agreed to let the paternal grandparents have custody of her son but changed her mind, and would now rather have her son placed with her mother who lives in Maryland.

Donald and Frieda Fons, who had hoped to file for permanent custody of Nathaniel, said they didn't know how they felt about the ruling.

"It's better than nothing," Donald Fons said in court.

April 21, 2010 - Missing 3-Year-Old Nathaniel Fons Mysteriously Dropped Off in NYC Church with Bizarre Note in Pocket