mindy mccready custodyCountry singer Mindy McCready had until 5 p.m. yesterday to voluntarily bring her 5-year-old son Zander back to Florida following a major custody violation. But she failed to do so. And so now McCready – who is nearly seven months pregnant with twins (!) – faces possible criminal charges and jail time.

McCready, whose troubled past includes a long history of drug abuse, suicide attempts, a six-month stint in jail and a spot on Dr. Drew‘s Celebrity Rehab 3, does not have custody of her son but was allowed to visit him at her father’s home (McCready’s mother Gayle Inge is Zander’s legal guardian).

It was during one of these visits last week that McCreary took off with Zander, prompting her concerned father to call police and report her missing. But McCready wrote on Facebook that she is not, in fact, missing and that she had spoken with police via Skype. Her publicist Kat Atwood confirmed that McCready and Zander are “safe, healthy and comfortable” and denies that she has done anything wrong.

That doesn’t change the fact that McCready had until yesterday to return Zander to a Florida court but was a no-show. McCready alleges that her son suffered abuse while in his grandmother’s care (Inge denies the allegations). “I’m a mom first. No matter what happens, I’m going to protect my kid. If I have to go to jail, so be it,” she said.

This morning, Bill McKnight – McCready’s ex-boyfriend and the father of her child – told NBC’s Today show that he, too, spoke on the phone with McCready and their boy, who are now in Nashville.

“He did sound healthy and ok. He wasn’t crying or scared,” McKnight said about Zander. “I think

[McCready]

believes she has a case and doesn’t realize she’s pushing her luck on this one.”

At this point, everyone just wants Zander back in Florida safe and sound, and the judge’s order means that law enforcement anywhere can pick up Zander and bring him home (he is now considered missing). “Although these circumstances are unfortunate for a young child, his safety and well-being are our number one priority,” said Florida Department of Children and Families spokesperson Terri Durdaller.

I’m praying for Zander’s safe return, and I’m having a hard time understanding how McCready plans to “protect” her child if she ends up behind bars (never mind raising the twins she’s carrying). It’s a sad situation and we can only hope that McCready sees the light sooner rather than later.

(Photo: People.com)