NewsChannel 10 Investigates: Misleading donation jars

NewsChannel 10 Investigates: Misleading donation jars

CLOVIS, N.M. - A Clovis family is placing donation jars at area businesses to raise money to bring home their daughter.

However, one law firm says the jars are misleading because the girl is safe and was never missing to begin with.

When you seen donation jars in area restaurants and businesses, you hope your money is going to a good cause.

The law offices of Daniel R. Lindsey in Clovis says there is one jar you shouldn't put your money in.

Beatrice Gutierrez is the maternal grandmother of a 2 1/2-year-old girl.

She says she hasn't seen her since November 2011.

Sarah Field with the law offices of Daniel R. Lindsey can explain why.

"The parents of the child in this case were arrested for burglarizing our local Weinerschnitzel," she said. "When they were in jail, the district court judge placed the child in the custody of her paternal grandmother."

We confirmed this statement with Gutierrez, but the news of not being able to have custody of her granddaughter upsets her.

"We're just doing anything we can think of to bring her home," Gutierrez said.

This included putting out donation jars in area businesses across Clovis asking for the public's help in bringing her home to her family where she belongs.

Field says Gutierrez and the child's mother and father are doing nothing more than scamming residents.

"Our concern is that the family is exploiting this little girl for their own financial gain," she said.

Field also fears people may get the impression the girl is missing or kidnapped.

"People are being lied to," she said. "People are giving money and it's not going for what people believe it's going for."

Gutierrez disagrees.

"I don't think we're misleading them," she said. "I think the community needs to know what's going on."

Field claims Clovis PD hasn't removed any of the jars, but just wants residents to be aware of who they donate money to.

Had the donation jars made claims the girl was missing or kidnapped, we're told law enforcement might have handled this situation differently.