Hernando deputies: Phony social worker tried to take child from foster home

BROOKSVILLE - Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 65-year-old woman who allegedly tried to remove a juvenile from a foster home and return the child to the biological father.

Linda Grass was charged with interference with child custody and bond set at $500. Also arrested and charged with the same offense was the father, Scott Alden Smith, 51.

Following a Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigation, the child was removed from the familial home and placed in a foster home.

The day after, a female who identified herself as “Lisa Grass,” paid a visit to the foster home and identified herself as a social worker. Grass said she was there to take the child and reunite it with a parent, a sheriff’s report said.

The person at the foster home did not believe the story, told her to leave and that they were calling law enforcement. Grass fled the area.

Deputies later determined that “Linda Grass” left voice mail messages on the juvenile’s cell phone. Grass made contact with the child in the driveway of the foster home, in an attempt to persuade the juvenile to get into Grass's vehicle.

During one of Grass's visits to the foster home, a witness obtained a vehicle description and tag number. With this information in hand, detectives queried the tag information and put together a photo-pack and the suspect was positively identified as Linda Grass.

Through the investigation, detectives learned Grass was working with Smith, the biological father who was also arrested with bond set at $500.