WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - A worried grandmother is pleading for help after her three young grandchildren were abducted by their own mother.
It happened last week during a supervised visit in Waterbury.
Those children were last spotted across the country, and now they’re the focus of an Amber Alert.
The grandmother said she has full custody of the children and isn’t getting answers.
"DCF would go in an supervise the visits because she had to have supervised visits and she manipulated them and they just got careless. That's what I feel, got careless," the grandmother said.
The question is how was this mother able to take off with the kids during what was supposed to be a supervised visit with the Department of Children and Families.
“She gave the kids ice cream and said she was going to bathroom to give them a cleanup, and the worker said, ‘okay,’” the children’s grandmother said.
That’s when Crystal McGrath, allegedly took off from the McDonald’s on Reidville Drive in Waterbury with her three kids, 7-year-old Maddison McGrath, 5-year-old Dylan McGrath and 2-year-old Maryah Matthew, even leaving their coats and diaper bag behind.
“It’s called supervision. You’re supposed to supervise. She wasn’t supposed to go to the bathroom with them alone, she was supposed to be supervised,” the grandmother said.
The children’s grandmother, who lives out of state and has custody, asked Channel 3 not to be identified.
She feels DCF dropped the ball.
“Went out the side door, exactly what happened,” the grandmother said.
Over the weekend, police in Texas, issued an Amber Alert for the kids after the family was spotted in Sealy, Texas, 50 miles west of Houston.
Police believe McGrath is with her boyfriend, 38-year-old Lester Joy, a registered sex offender with convictions in New Jersey and New York.
Police believe McGrath is driving a maroon 2002 Volvo S-60 with Connecticut plates 417YTY.
“I don’t know what he’s capable of, I don’t know what she’s capable of,” the grandmother said.
The kids’ grandmother, doesn’t know why they would have headed to Texas, and its why she’s pleading for anyone who might have seen them or had contact with them in the last week to do the right thing and call police.
“I mean what person wouldn’t say if these were my children, I would want someone to find them, so let me help. There’s got to be somebody that can help,” the grandmother said.
The DCF told Channel 3 it's extremely rare that a parent takes a child during a supervised visit.
They released a statement saying, "Supervised visits between a parent and a child in out of home care are very common, and they occur regularly all over the state. In fact, they are required by the courts in order to maintain the parent/child bond while the Agency meets our legal obligation to attempt to reunify children with parents. It is exceedingly rare that a parent attempts to take the child from a supervised visit.
When a parent does take a child in that situation, we immediately contact law enforcement to seek the child's safe return as quickly as possible. We also will contact individuals who may know the children's whereabouts, including family members and others connected with the children and family in some way.
In this instance, we are doing everything we can to assist law enforcement to quickly find the children and safely return them."
Waterbury police said the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information in the whereabouts of McGrath and her children are asked to call police.