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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

LOS ANGELES : Mother Arrested After Returning With Daughter

September 22, 1993

The mother of 5-year-old Courtney Thomas was arrested Tuesday night after returning to Los Angeles with her daughter. Earlier in the day, a Pittsburgh, Pa., judge ruled that he had no jurisdiction in the bitter custody battle in which Courtney's mother faces prosecution on charges of child stealing.

Catherine F. Thomas of Thousand Oaks arrived at Los Angeles International Airport with Courtney, as well as a social worker and police detective from Pittsburgh, where the mother and child were seized last week.

The mother, child and Kevin Thomas--a family friend who was granted custody of Courtney--were escorted off the plane onto the Tarmac by Los Angeles police, district attorney's investigators and agents of the County Children's Services Department.

Catherine Thomas was immediately taken into custody. Her attorney, David S. Kestenbaum, complained afterward that he was not given a chance to talk to his client and was not told where Courtney was being taken, although he added that he assumed she was placed in the custody of Kevin Thomas because he was allowed to carry the child off the plane and into a police car.

Kestenbaum said he expected his client to be arraigned in Los Angeles Municipal Court today or Thursday.

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