MARSHALL, Mo. — The mother of the boy at the center of a child sex investigation said she suspected a youth service worker was having sex with her son, but she didn’t want to believe it.
The boy’s mother, Kim, said her son first began talking about “bonding” with a girl named “Dusty” in November 2011. At the time, Kim’s son was 15. She said she thought Dusty was a girl her son’s age.
Dusty McGrew, 31, an employee at Butterfield Youth Services in Marshall, Mo., was arrested May 9 and charged with statutory rape and statutory sodomy for relations she allegedly had with Kim’s son.
“It’s killing me,” Kim said, who lives in Broken Arrow, Okla. “It’s wearing me down. It’s day-to-day, minute-by-minute. Lots of crying. Lots of shock.”
Kim said she was suspicious of McGrew long before her arrest and says she expressed her concerns to Butterfield Youth Services multiple times. She says she feels her suspicions weren’t fully investigated and, at times, her calls weren’t returned. When they were, Kim said she was never put at ease.
“I’m just in shock,” she said.
Kim says Butterfield called and requested permission for her son to spend Thanksgiving with Dusty McGrew, an employee at the facility. Kim consented. She said she wasn’t suspicious of McGrew until Christmas when she says McGrew bought her son an Android smart phone. When asked who was paying for her son’s phone bill, Kim said she didn’t know.
Roy Morrill, executive director of Butterfield Youth Services, declined to comment, stating only that Butterfield initiated the investigation into McGrew and that it is ongoing. Morrill would not say what triggered the investigation.
Kim said she visited her son on February 26, shortly after his 16th birthday. She says she saw McGrew, her son and two or three other kids get out of a white facility van. She said her son was acting nervous, adding that he knew she was suspicious of McGrew. Kim said while the kids were running around outside, she pulled McGrew aside and confronted her about the relationship she had with her son.
“I asked her straight; I asked her if she was sleeping with my son,” Kim said.
McGrew denied having an inappropriate relationship with the boy, and when asked by Kim why she had such an interest in him, Kim said McGrew stated that she wanted to “help kids like these.” Kim said McGrew explained that she, too, had children and they got along with Kim’s son.
According to Kim, McGrew also expressed an interest in gaining temporary custody of him and wanted to give him a ‘family setting.’ Kim admitted that her son chose not to live with Kim and would have preferred to live with his former foster parents, although the state would not allow that either, she said.
Kim said after talking with McGrew at the Butterfield facility she still felt a little suspicious, but wanted to believe McGrew.
“I sincerely thanked her,” Kim said. “I couldn’t imagine someone abusing a child. I was hoping it wasn’t what it appeared to be — but it was.”
Kim said even after her conversation with McGrew she continued to call Butterfield “fishing” for information from McGrew’s fellow employees. Kim said some of them told her they didn’t quite trust Dusty.
“They said she was shady,” she said.
Kim said on Wednesday, April 18, her son told her he was “fixing to split.” Kim said he wanted to run away because Butterfield was making plans to separate him from McGrew. Kim said it was difficult for her to see the attachment her son had to McGrew, knowing he wanted to run away to be with her.
“My heart sank,” she said. “I got jealous. That’s my son. Not hers. She misled him. She abused him.”
Kim said she hasn’t spoken to her son in a few days and worries about his mental health. She also worries that McGrew, out on bond, might try and contact him again.
“There’s still a phone missing,” she said. “I don’t know if she will try and contact him.”