LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A mom accused of illegally taking her daughter, prompting the issuance of an Amber Alert, appeared in court in Kentucky on Thursday morning and zealously defended herself in a jailhouse interview.
Jennifer Ansari, 37, is awaiting extradition to Hamilton County to face custodial interference charges. A hearing was set for Thursday afternoon.
Police said Ansari took off with her daughter, Sophia Snow, 8, after learning she lost custody to her ex-husband.
In an interview with WHAS-TV in Louisville (watch interview above) Ansari said she did not abduct her daughter and did what she believed was best for the child. Watch interviews on mobile devices: http://bit.ly/TWR3UY
"I have had Sophia since birth. Her father was only granted visitation, so Sophia has always been with me," Ansari said. "There was no going back and picking up, because she was with me anyway."
The Amber Alert was issued Tuesday night, and Ansari and Snow were found with family members in Louisville Wednesday.
Snow was not harmed and was set to be turned over to her father, who lives in Florida.
Ansari said she received a court order that specified she was to turn over custody of Snow to the child's father on Sept. 2.
"The order was not certified, so it was unknown at that point if it was enforceable," Ansari said. "I felt it best for Sophia and I to go to my parents'."
During the interview, Ansari made several allegations about the father and about the legal system in Hamilton County that led to the issuance of the Amber Alert.
Wanda Wagner, Ansari's mother, also blamed a court system she characterized as corrupt.
"Hamilton County, Ind., is not out for the best interest of the child," Wagner said. "They're out for the interest of whoever is going to pay them the most money. It's a political thing. We've been fighting this thing for seven, eight years."
Ansari said she was a licensed child care provider for 13 years and is a "great mother."
"(Sophia) was determined she wasn't going to go with him. Of course, it isn't her choice," Ansari said. "I think an Amber Alert was a little bit extreme. Sophia would never be in danger under my care."
Ansari and her mother vowed to continue to fight to regain custody of Snow.
"This is not over for me," Ansari said. "I will go to Hamilton County and I will go through whatever it takes."
"They've taken my grandchild away. I may never see her again," Wagner said. "I don't know how long my daughter's going to stay in jail."