Inmate accidentally released from jail

  • Thursday, December 5, 2013


Hill-Finklea Detention Center inmate Neely Blanchard, 26, was released from the jail by mistake on Nov. 27 after a paperwork error.

The proper paperwork was not in her file, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Dan Moon said.

Blanchard was still at large Tuesday morning, according to Moon.

The detention center is conducting an internal investigation on the error, according to reports.

Blanchard was arrested in May and charged with unlawfully removing her 4-year-old daughter from Westview Primary School on May 2. Blanchard was also charged with trespassing, disturbing school, custodial interference, conspiracy to commit custodial interference and unlawful possession of schedule IV narcotics.

Blanchard did not have custody of her daughter. She and another suspect, Ferdauss Rahmatullah, 25, both who had Florida addresses at the time, abducted her daughter from the school.

Blanchard went to her daughter’s classroom, presented papers to the teacher and said they were court documents saying she could have custody of the child, according to a Goose Creek Police Department incident report. She then grabbed her child and ran out of the school with her as the teacher grabbed on to her hoodie and sweatshirt in an attempt to stop her, according to the report.

Blanchard and the other suspect Rahmatullah drove off in a black 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

The S.C. Highway Patrol detained them about 30 minutes on I-26 westbound and took them into custody.

The child was returned to her grandmother, who is the legal guardian.

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