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Steven Cross, father who abandoned 11-year-old son, wants to reunite with his child

Steven Cross doesn't understand all the attention, and wants to see his son again.
Steven Cross doesn't understand all the attention, and wants to see his son again.

Steven Cross, the Lakeville father who left his 11-year-old son behind and bolted for California when he couldn't make ends meet, wants another chance to be a father.

In fact, Cross, who's gone on something of a local media tour since returning to Minnesota, doesn't understand why his case inspired all the outrage and shame he's receiving from other parents.

In the latest interview about his case, Cross told the Star Tribune that he's shocked to find himself in the American spotlight.

"I'm unbelievably surprised at the attention this has gotten," Cross said.

Cross disappeared on his kid in late August, leaving the boy with a note that instructed the 11-year-old to head to the neighbor's house, saying they'd have to take care of him for now.

"[T]here are no jobs for architects," Cross wrote to his boy, "so I have to go because the sherriff [sic] will take the house July 27th. There will be no more me."

After leaving the note, Cross drove west on a quixotic journey to find relatives somewhere in California, he tells the Star Tribune. He never found them. After a search, Cross turned up in the small California coastal town of Cambria. At the time of his arrest, Cross, 60, had taken a job at a sandwich shop there.

Now, his troubles are legal as well as financial. The Dakota County Attorney's office has charged Cross with child neglect, and has so far barred him from seeing his son. Cross told the Star Tribune he doesn't understand that ruling.

"I still want to see my son," Cross told the Strib. "I still want to hear from him that he is OK."

Cross's lawyer Jeffrey Priest describes his flight from 11-year-old Sebastien as a "momentarily lapse in judgment."

Cross' note to his son didn't just tell the boy that his father was leaving; it also revealed that Sebastien's mother, whom Cross had previously told him was dead, was actually still alive. As Cross' case is adjudicated, Sebastien is staying with his mother's sister. 

The Star Tribune reports that the mother is back in the picture now, and is participating in the child neglect case against Cross. 

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