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Father of McKinney AMBER Alert children feels he's being wrongfully accused of kidnapping

The two McKinney girls were found safe on Sunday. Their grandmother and father face kidnapping charges.

MCKINNEY, Texas — Jami Burns, the grandmother accused of taking off with her two grandchildren during a supervised Child Protective Services visit, was arraigned at the Collin County Jail on Monday afternoon. She and her son, Justin Burns, face kidnapping charges.

McKinney police announced Sunday that the two girls were found safe and will return to CPS custody. 

Jami and Justin Burns remain in Collin County Jail. Police said the pair worked together to take the two sisters from a supervised CPS visit with Justin Burns, their father.

"He emailed the CPS people requesting to have this visit at CiCi's [Pizza] because of his birthday," said Jessica McClelland, who told WFAA she dated Justin Burns off and on since August 2022.

That supervised visit took place at the McKinney restaurant on Thursday, which is where police said two of three girls were taken from. WFAA learned Monday from newly released court documents that more than a year ago Jami Burns had been charged and indicted for drugs and for endangering the very same grandchildren she took on Thursday.

"I actually was texting [Justin Burns] when he was there during the visitation. He texted me, 'My kids are missing, my kids are gone. Oh my gosh,' McClelland recalled Justin Burns writing in texts.

McClelland said Burns loved his daughters but had a troubled past he just couldn't shake. She said Justin Burns feels he's being wrongly accused of kidnapping. 

She said he was on the path to reunifying with his children.

"He sticks to the fact that he didn't know anything about it, and he was not any part of it. He said he had two more visits left, he thought he was going to get them back, so why would he do that?" said McClelland.

It is unclear exactly how the girls left the restaurant and into a vehicle with Jami Burns. It's also unclear where the case worker was during the visit.

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