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Grandmother charged in resolved missing child case

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: theday.com

Published June 17. 2013 3:00PM   Updated June 17. 2013 3:11PM

The grandmother of the 15-month-old Norwich boy whom state police issued a missing child alert for on Sunday has been arrested for drunken driving, among other charges.

Tonya Douchette, 46, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, risk of injury to a minor and driving with a suspended license.

She was held in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond and was scheduled to appear in Norwich Superior Court today.

Over the weekend, a Silver Alert was issued for her grandson, Deiondre Douchette-Pina, who had spent the night with her on Saturday. There wasn’t a set time for Douchette to return the boy to his parents, but the parents called police around noon on Sunday after what police said was a “concerning” phone conversation with a family member.

Police said in a press release today that Douchette mistakenly called a family member earlier that morning looking to buy drugs. When she realized her mistake, she cut off all communication, police said.

Douchette and her grandson were located safely in Montville later on Sunday and the child was returned to his parents.

Douchette was convicted in the 2003 death of a 34-year-old Plainfield woman who was a passenger in Douchette’s car when it struck a stone wall in Preston. Police found vodka bottles, heroin and needles inside the car. Douchette was convicted of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and sentenced to six months in prison, which was suspended after she served 30 days. She also received two years probation.

Douchette also has convictions for reckless driving (2010), use of drug paraphernalia (2004) and breach of peace (2004 and 2010).

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