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Former Detroit Lion and Hartland Dad Accused of Kidnapping Son

Family friend says Hartland dad suspected of kidnapping his 11-year-old son is a "good father."

It's been six days since 11-year-old Connor was reported missing by his mother, believed to have been Mark Grabowski, of Hartland.

Grabowski, a former Detroit Lions defensive lineman, is now wanted by police. A warrant has been issued for his arrest and he faces charges of kidnapping.

Carry Headly, a family friend of Grabowski's, who was contacted by Hartland Patch, calls him a "happy-go-lucky," social guy who loves his son very much.

Headly believes that Grabowski is only looking out for the best interests of his son and although she said she has not been in contact with Grabowski, says there are two sides to every story.

“Mark has been fighting in the courts for a long time to get things resolved and it hasn’t been working,” Headly said. “He’s a very good father. He shows nothing but complete love and concern for his son.”

Headly met Grabowksi through a friend when he owned Anytime Fitness in Milford and says that the relationship between Grabowski and Connor’s mother, Kelly Evans, was never good. The couple never married, and they have spent years in the court system fighting over custody of their son, she said.

Evans, who was interviewed by WDIV-TV, Channel 4 said she was sure her son was scared

Headly, however, said she believes Connor is safe.

“Connor loves his father and his father loves him very much,” Headly said. “There are just too many family issues going on." 

Although Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte was unable to provide any updates regarding the kidnapping case, he did say he was aware of the court cases between the parents.

According to Bezotte, Grabowski had been trying to “paint a bad picture” of Evans in court.

“He (Grabowski) had been planning it (kidnapping), it appears, for a period of time, so it was almost like he was trying to justify it with the people who were closest to him,” Bezotte said. “Still doesn’t excuse the fact that he knows he has to go court and whether he thinks he’s justified. All these things should have been brought up in court, which they were.”

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