Mother arrested in missing child case

Woman, daughter lived in N. Fort Myers

By Dave Breitenstein
March 03, 2006

A California missing child case ended with the arrest of a North Fort
Myers woman and recovery of her 9-year-old child, who had been attending
class since September at a Lee County school.

Terry Ann Dunn, 45, of 16500 Slater Road, remains in the Lee County Jail
awaiting extradition out west. The girl is now in the custody of the
Florida Department of Children & Families.

Detectives in rural Butte County, Calif., first received a missing
persons report on May 19, 2005. Angelo Vaughn, spokesman for the Lee
County Sheriff’s Office, said Dunn had an injunction against her to stay
away from the child, and was on the run before stopping here.

Lee County School District records show the girl enrolled on Sept. 16,
and was a fourth-grader at Orange River Elementary in east Fort Myers.

To register for school in Lee County, though, parents or guardians need a
variety of documents, including proof of custody if the child doesn’t
live with both parents. Student assignment director Leila Muvdi was not
familiar with the arrest, but says some children are let into school
before every document is processed so they don’t miss instructional time
because of a holdup with paperwork.

“We try to find out as much as we can,” Muvdi said. “But sometimes it’s
in the best interest for them to be in school.”

About a half-dozen FBI agents and two Lee sheriff’s deputies converged on
Orange River Elementary around noon Wednesday, Principal Holly Bell said.
But the girl was absent that day. Bell said her mother notified a teacher
that there was a death in the family. Dunn was arrested at 1:28 p.m.
Wednesday at the corner of Old 41 and Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers,
according to sheriff’s records.

At the school, Bell called the girl a “remarkable student” and was
well-liked by her classmates. Her teacher also reported that Dunn kept in
touch and made sure her daughter’s homework was completed. Bell said no
one at the school detected any problems or was suspicious of Dunn.

“There weren’t any signs that were glaring,” she said. “It wasn’t really
a thought.”

Copyright 2006, The News-Press

Leave a Reply