Jessica A. Ewing surrendered to Wyoming police Monday morning

A Dover-area woman who police said took her daughter following a dispute in Family Court has surrendered to Wyoming police.

Lt. Daniel Groce said 40-year-old Jessica A. Ewing turned herself in at the town’s police department before noon Monday, May 27.

The girl, 8-year-old Mia Fumes of Dover, was in good condition, Groce said.

Wyoming police charged Ewing with a single count of interference with child custody; she later was released on her own recognizance, Groce said.

The case began Friday, May 24 following a Kent County Family Court custody hearing between Ewing and the child’s father, Michael Fumes. The couple was married, but later divorced, Groce said.

Mia had been placed with her mother following the divorce, but the father had requested that decision be reversed by the court, Groce said. Ewing protested the reversal, expressing concerns about the girl’s safety, but was overruled.

Following the hearing Ewing allegedly went to the W.B. Simpson Elementary School in Wyoming, picked up the girl, and left the state.

After learning Ewing had taken refuge with family in Washington, Pa., Groce said he called her in an attempt to get her to return to Delaware.

“Through my investigation, I was able to get with Miss Ewing and we had a conversation,” he said. “She explained to me why she did what she did, and she told me where they were.

“I explained to her the best option was to bring the child back and to face the music from there,” Groce said.

Ewing made the decision to return to Delaware with the knowledge she would be criminally charged, Groce added.

“I advised her to bring the child back, go back to square one, procure an attorney and fight it that way,” he said. “That’s the best way to do it.”

Ewing brought Mia directly to the town’s police headquarters.

“The child was in good spirits, unharmed and happy,” Groce said. “She was very loving toward her mother and did not want to leave her mother.”

Ewing’s actions did not rise to the level required to charge her with kidnapping, thus the charge of interfering with child custody, Groce said. That case will be handled within the state’s criminal justice system, starting with the Court of Common Pleas.

“She was aware she would have to face the legal system because of her actions,” Groce said.

Anything related to the custody question is under the jurisdiction of the Family Court, he added.