The child custody case of an Amarillo woman and her Algerian ex-husband has led federal authorities on an international hunt to track down the couple’s child, according to federal court records.
Federal authorities arrested Badr Djelti, 35, on May 5 on one count of parental kidnapping. According to federal immigration officials, Djelti was born in Algeria and is legally residing in the U.S. as a permanent resident alien.
After nearly a year of marriage, Crystal Armstrong and the defendant separated in August 2010, two months after Armstrong gave birth to the couple’s daughter, the affidavit said. The family traveled to Algeria in December 2010, “in hopes that Armstrong and (Djelti) could mend their marriage, but it did not work out and they remained separated after they returned to the United States,” the document said.
A year later, Armstrong allowed Djelti to take their child to Algeria again to visit Djelti’s parents.
“Armstrong felt that even though they were separated, she wanted (the child) to continue to spend time with (Djelti) and his side of the family,” the affidavit said.
Armstrong, who worried Djelti would not bring the child back, made her ex-husband sign a document promising he would. But the day Djelti was supposed to get the agreement notarized, he picked up the child from a day care facility in Amarillo.
The mother called the police after she confronted Djelti at his apartment, where he was with the child. Amarillo authorities told Armstrong they could not help her because there was no effective court order regarding custody at the time, a federal affidavit said.
On Dec. 13, Djelti left the United States with the child and returned about a month later without her.
“(Djelti) told Armstrong that he left (the child) in the care of his parents in Algeria,” the affidvait said.
A Potter County judge in April ordered Djelti to return the child to the U.S. later that month, but Djelti received an extension to finish his exams at Amarillo College. The parties agreed to give Djelti until May 13 to travel to Algeria and bring the child back, federal records show.
He is expected to return on May 29, according to flight records he provided the court. But Armstrong told her attorney that one of Djelti’s coworkers said he did not intend to return to the U.S. once he left.
Djelti is currently in federal custody at the Randall County jail. If convicted, Djelti faces a maximum prison sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services
Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook
U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443
UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –
Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271