Deputies, DHS worker testify in parental kidnapping case


February 27, 2013

Source: ludingtondailynews.com

Mason County Sheriff’s Office deputies Mike Hanson and Derrek Wilson testified Tuesday morning, the second day of the trial of Mark McCallum, who is charged with parental kidnapping.

Hanson testified about talking to McCallum’s now ex-wife Sharon Kludy and the search for their two young children who were later found with their father in Key West, Florida.

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Wilson testified about searching the couple’s Hamlin Township home, where Mark had been residing prior to his arrest in Florida.

On Monday, the jury was seated and Kludy testified, answering questions from Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Spaniola.

McCallum is representing himself.

Later in the day a Department of Human Services employee testified about allegations Mark McCallum made that his wife had been abusing the children, saying the department made no determination of abuse.

The jury is done for the day.

Mark McCallum made a motion to dismiss the case, but 51st Circuit Court Judge Richard Cooper denied it.

McCallum’s argument included stating his wife knows one of the deputies and that he turned the rest of law enforcement against him.

“I’m not a crazy person,” McCallum told the court.

More witnesses will be called Wednesday.

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Texas: Expert says parental child abductions are on the rise


September 27, 2012

Source: University of Houston

Attorney Pamela Brown discusses pursuing justice across international borders

 

Pamela Brown, director of the Bi-National Family Violence Project at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, told law students that international parental kidnapping cases have become more common in recent years during a noon-hour gathering today at the University of Houston Law Center. Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid is a non-profit organization that provides free legal advice and representation to low-income residents in southwest Texas.

“Abduction rates are increasing in part due to globalization,” Brown said during the talk hosted by the Immigration and Human Rights Law Society. “The relationships of families do not end at international borders. We do not have an exit control nor would we want one. We are an international society.”

Brown noted that international parental abduction has increase by 65 percent in the United States from 2005 to 2009.  In addition, nearly one third of the children in the United States abducted by a parent end up in Mexico.

“Hundreds of Texas children are abducted by a parent every year and taken to Mexico,” Brown said. “Most of the left-behind parents don’t know where to go for help and do not have access to legal help.”

According to Brown, there are two legal frameworks for handling such cases: Internal custody litigation and the Hague Abduction Convention. Under the Hague Abduction Convention, an international treaty concluded in 1980, parents can petition for the return of their children through the civil courts. Mexico and the United States have signed the treaty and each has a government office specifically to deal with these cases.

Brown handles roughly 12 international parental kidnapping cases a year and has helped recover more than 50 children since 2001. She also runs training programs for law enforcement, social workers and lawyers across the state to prepare them for handling such issues.

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New York Woman Convicted for International Parental Child Abduction


Source: divorcelawyerconnecticut

An upstate New York woman who was convicted of international parental kidnapping of a child was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Tricia Griffith, 37, formerly of Niagara Falls, N.Y., admitted taking her child from a residence in Niagara Falls to Jamaica in June 2010. The defendant left the area without the knowledge of the child’s father and in violation of a court order of custody issued previously by a Niagara County Supreme Court judge. Griffith was arrested several months later at New York’s JFK International Airport by HSI special agents when she returned to the United States without the child. The child remains outside of the United States at this time.

“Because the issues surrounding the unauthorized removal of a child by one parent to a destination abroad can be so complex and daunting, the United States Congress, the Hague Convention and numerous states have all passed legislation forbidding this conduct,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., Western District of New York. “These crimes involve unspeakable suffering and loss – not the least of which is the cruelty and damage inflicted upon the child. This office stands fully committed to prosecuting the perpetrators of this crime wherever they may be found.”

Assistance is available to parents of internationally abducted children through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of State Office of Children’s Issues.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Fauzia K. Mattingly and Trini E. Ross.

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Ansar Al-Islam Leader Mullah Krekar jailed for five years in Norway


Source: BBC

Mullah Krekar, the Kurdish founder of radical Islamic group Ansar al-Islam, has been sentenced to five years in jail in Norway for making death threats against officials and others.

Mullah Krekar, 55, came to Norway as a refugee in 1991.

Krekar, who says he is no longer involved with Ansar al-Islam, said in court he would appeal the ruling.

Ansar al-Islam, which is based in northern Iraq, is regarded by the UN and US as a terrorist organisation.

Mullah Krekar was found guilty of threatening the life of Erna Solberg, an ex-minister who signed his expulsion order in 2003 because he was considered a threat to national security.

He was also found guilty of threatening three other Kurds living in Norway who had burnt pages of the Koran or insulted it in another way.

Mullah Krekar – born Najm Faraj Ahmad – has lived in suburban eastern Oslo with his family since 1991 when he was granted refugee status in Norway.

From this base, he founded Ansar al-Islam, which Washington blames for attacks on coalition forces in Iraq. In 2006, the UN added the cleric to a list of people believed to have links with al-Qaeda.

The Kurdish cleric says he stepped down as leader of Ansar al-Islam in 2002 and denies any links with al-Qaeda.

He remains in Norway despite the deportation order against him because of the security situation in Iraq.

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Parental Kidnapping – What to Do When the Other Parent Will Not Return the Child


Source: Diana Tennis

I hope you never need this article. Very rarely does it happen, but there are times that one parent goes off the deep end and decides that the Orders of the Court are not meant for them. Children are taken out of school, hidden at relatives’ homes, and secreted from the “custodial” parent. (In this context custodial means the parent who should have that child during that time frame or the parent with the majority contact time.)

The first step is to make sure that the current Order is clear and specific enough to be enforceable. Whether law enforcement will assist when one parent violates a court ordered contact schedule has a lot to do with how clearly written it is. Even with the most clearly written order there are times that law enforcement will not want to get involved. This is when the Court needs to be contacted. Emergency Motions are some of the most overused motions around.

Judges hate them because 1) everyone wants to call every bad situation an emergency and domestic cases are nothing but bad situations and 2) because they are being asked to make decisions without letting the other side tell their story. If there is a remedy for the violation (if that parent should not have had this two weeks of summer, but the judge could take other time away from the offender without harm to the child) short of asking the Judge to take the child via police, that is the road to go down. Judges can punish violations with Orders for attorneys fees, extra time for the other parent, moving to supervised or having other parameters or limitations…without having to traumatize a child with a ride in a police car.

If there is no remedy that will truly keep the child safe, in the event of escalating obvious mental health issues and increasingly bold violations..the Court can enter a Pick Up Order. This court order will describe the child and the parent who has them wrongfully, and it will authorize the police to pick the child up. The Order should be drafted to include all the places the child could reasonably be, with the most obvious listed first. The Order may indicate that law enforcement is authorized to enter a home in order to find the child, and that they can do this at any hour. Without this provision, most law enforcement agencies are going to “stake out” a home only. If the person has taken the child to other locations, it may be necessary to hire a PI to attempt to find them and then call in law enforcement to pick up the child..many police agencies are just too overworked to spend days or even hours trying to hunt up parents who have stolen their children.

Ultimately, there are remedies in these situations, but the process can take a while and can be scary in the meantime. It is important to understand that long term, the parents who follow court orders, who show respect to the Judge’s determinations and work within the system will long term get much better results. Once a parent pushes things to the point of requiring this type of action, they have usually lost the Judge’s trust and are working against themselves.

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NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

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Parental Abduction: Ex takes 2-year-old daughter to Mexico with plans not to return


Source: kens5.com

San Marcos mom: Ex takes 2-year-old daughter to Mexico with plans not to return
When Monica Sanchez dropped her daughter off at the Eternal Rock Church in San Marcos on January 15, all seemed to be going according to plan.

Little two-year-old Sarahi Garcia was placed in the care of her father…for a visit.  But, what Sanchez didn’t foresee was the phone call she received from her ex-husband  three days later.

Sanchez says in that call, 35-year-old Amrando Munoz Garcia, told her he was in Mexico, and so was their daughter. But, the most frightening thing was that Garcia allegedly told Sanchez he would not be returning Sarahi to San Marcos.

According to Sanchez, the Caldwell County child custody order prohibits taking Sarahi out of Texas.

Now San Marcos police are working fast to locate the missing girl. They are questioning family members, friends and co-workers  in their search for Garcia.

They have also contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and notified border patrol agents at the location where Garcia is believed to have crossed into Mexico in the past.

Authorities could use your help, too.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Sarahi Garcia or Amando Munoz Garcia, you are asked to contact the San Marcos Police Department at 512-753-2103, or pdunn@sanmarcostx.gov.

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Transnational Parental – Child Abduction: This is the Season to be Worried


Source: The Feminist Wire

By Anique John-Carter and Alanna Kennedy

Transnational abduction frequently conjures up images of children being trafficked from one part of the world to another for economic or sexual exploitation. However, evidence reveals that transnational child abduction incorporates much more than these common misunderstandings, which embody the traditional cliché of “Stranger Danger.”  Contrary to popular views – often fueled by an over-zealous media – in the United States familial child abduction far surpasses stranger abduction.

The language of parental child abduction is problematic, encompassing terms ranging from parental kidnapping and parental abduction to child snatching or child stealing, the latter two obviously more sensationalistic. We have found that while there is a[a1]  growing literature on the phenomenon of parental/familial child abduction, little attention is paid to the perspectives of children who are taken. There are memoirs by parents, especially mothers, whose children have been abducted by their fathers or other family members, but virtually no record written by the “victims” themselves. (And we use the term victim cautiously, given that we don’t actually know the subjective experiences of the children, even after they grow up to become adults.)

With estimates in the U.S. of 200,000 children abducted by a parent or other family member annually, and increased attention to the quagmire of transnational child abduction, kidnapping in the context of relationship dissolution/divorce is pertinent to children’s safety and wellbeing. And obviously, abduction should be a relevant factor in judicial remediation. One study found that the number of children abducted by a family member was 90 times larger than the number who are abducted by a stranger. The complexities that result from parental child abduction are magnified when considering the plethora of diverse norms surrounding culture, local and international laws, gender dynamics, and meanings of family.

The criminal definition of parental kidnapping refers to illegal removal or seizure of a child by a non-custodial family member from the child’s legal/custodial parent or guardian. One important difference between stranger kidnappings and family abductions is that in circumstances of family abductions, the children’s whereabouts may in fact be known, and – depending on their age – the children may not be aware that they have been kidnapped in a legal sense. This creates confusion and difficulty when trying to recover the children or re-orient the child in the original custodial home.

Most typically, transnational abduction of children, like domestic abduction, is far more likely to occur at the hands of a parent or guardian than a stranger. Contrary to what may be in the best interests of the child (or children, as siblings are taken together sometimes), abductions occur predominantly by family members who may snatch children for what they deem to be the “right” reasons, using justifications that range from very real threats of domestic violence to culturally-based family practices. As recently as December 2011, reported cases of international child abduction originating from the U.S. totaled more than 1,640 in a year. Additionally and unfortunately, these numbers are growing at a rate of 20% annually.

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, one of the world’s leading child abduction and kidnapping recovery agencies, ABP World Group, emphasized that the holiday season is one in which custodial parents or guardians should be especially cautious of the potential for family kidnapping.  Parents in particularly volatile relationships, situations of shared custody, or those in which one partner is from outside of the U.S. may be more vulnerable to transnational child abductions. Though several recent stories may be perceived as[n2]  “scare-mongering,” statistics generated by the U.S. Department of State have demonstrated that there is indeed valid cause for concern. In fiscal year 2009, there were 1,135 new cases of international parental abductions, a 50 percent increase compared to the previous reporting period. In the United States, it is estimated that there will be between 100,000 and 125,000 children criminally abducted between now and 2020.

The staple “law” regulating international child abduction is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction. This is the dominant mechanism for pursuing legal remedies in international child abduction cases. The Convention is “a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return.” However, aspects of the Convention become problematic with regard to enforcement, which is typically non-transferable across international borders. Additionally, many nations party to the convention do not necessarily conform to it. Some countries, such as Japan, have never returned a child back to the country of origin. The United Nations, as a partner to the Hague Convention, does little in the way of providing aid or relief in child abduction cases. Although the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child is said to promote the interests of children, it fails to provide legal remediation.

Current developments are in the works. The U.S. Department of State has recently created the Hague Convention Attorney Network that recruits lawyers to help find and incorporate personnel and resources in an attempt to reduce transnational child abduction originating from the United States. This will hopefully be a means to bridge the gap between national and transnational aspects of law enforcement and legal remediation. Although not a worldwide solution, it brings to light the urgent issue of parental abduction. As of 2008, The Hague had evaluated the performance of parties to the Convention, concludingthat the U.S. has both received and originated more applications for the return of abducted children than any other contracting state.

The issue of transnational child abduction is especially important in the U.S., a society in which marriages continue to dissolve at a high rate. The precarious situations in which children are placed can produce psychological and social problems that may last a lifetime. The Hague Convention’s 2008 evaluation of U.S. progress on transnational child abduction discloses that familial abductors are typically women. In many of these cases, women are fleeing environments where abuse has or is taking place. Naturally,[n3]  this begs a further critique of instability in family environments, inadequate resources for women, and a legal system that cannot adequately address the best interests of women and children. These deficiencies are especially glaring when men (especially abusive men) remove their children from the country.

Giving the alarming findings from studies on long-term effects of abduction on children as well as the increased ease with which people move across international borders, we predict that this issue will increase in importance as it widens in scope. Within the current legal system, which seems regularly to slash resources for women and children, it is imperative that we understand and work to ameliorate the potentially devastating personal and familial impact of parental child abduction. At the same time, we must attempt to mitigate the ripple effects caused throughout society as families fracture and legal confusion ensues.

‘Tis the season to be very wary indeed.

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NOTE: We are always available, also during The Christmas holidays. Christmas is the high season for parental abductions.

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443
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Bortført jente returnert fra Filippinene


Kilde: Bortført.no

Jenta ble bortført av moren som 13-åring, og har vært på rømmen i to år. I går, 25. november, kom hun imidlertid hjem til Norge. Faren var den som først anmeldte bortføringen, men også politi og barnevern har engasjert seg aktivt, fordi moren anses som uegnet til ta seg av datteren alene.

Den 44 år gamle kvinnen ble pågrepet i byen Kalibo i Aklan-provinsen i september, med grunnlag i en arrestordre utstedt av Nordmøre tingrett.

Moren prøvde å søke asyl for seg og datteren, men er nå utvist fra Filippinene. Under normale omstendigheter ville det ha vært nærmest umulig for faren å få tilbake datteren. Denne saken er imidlertid ulik andre barneborføringssaker, fordi både norsk politi og barnevern tok den lange reisen til Asia for å forhandle med filippinske myndigheter om returen av jenta.

Kvinnen har brukt mye tid på ulike Facebook-grupper, hvor hun har demonisert jentas far og barnevernet for å skaffe seg sympati og tigge penger til bortføringsprosjektet. Tragisk nok har kvinnen også distribuert YouTube-klipp hvor datteren retter sterke personangrep mot faren. Vi ser en urovekkende tendens til at stadig flere foreldre skyver barna foran seg i sine svertekamanjer på nettet.

Mon tro hva som beveger seg i hodet til foreldre som legger ut hatmeldinger ved bruk mindreårige barn?

Et bortført barn er isolert og sårbart, og bortførern kan lett påvirke barnet til å si hva som helst. Men tenk hvilke lojalitetskonflikter dette kan skape for barnet senere. Slike videoer kan versere på nettet i lang tid. Man har ikke kontroll med hvem som laster ned og hvem som kan finne på å legge materialet ut igjen på et senere tidspunkt. Og ingen vet hvordan disse barna vil reagere om de konfronteres med dette senere i livet.

Nå er jena heldigvis tilbake i Norge, hvor hun bor hos sin far, og har kontakt med sine voksne søsken og resten av familien.

Her er nok et eksempel der et barn blir misbrukt i en foreldrekonflikt: Olivers Verden

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Parental Abduction – How To Recover a Abducted Child – ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services


Time is a very important factor if a child is missing.

Immediate access to current information about the missing child is critical. Although nobody hopes to be in such a situation where this information is needed, parents have to keep in mind that child abduction can occur anytime, anywhere, to any child. Therefore, parents must have the resources and knowledge about their children ready, so they can take action if their children become missing.

The goal of ABP World Group international child recovery services is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child. We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.

Areas of expertise: Parental abduction, Missing children, Kidnappings,
Runaway children and Counselling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult time.
We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

Contact us here: Mail

Child abduction laws set for overhaul


Source: Sky news Australia

A Senate inquiry has been told laws surrounding international parental child abductions must be changed.

Lauchlan Leishman and Ken Thompson fronted a Senate committee in Canberra on Friday, arguing that the system surrounding international child abductions needs a desperate overhaul.

Mr Leishman, whose son was taken out of the country in 2008 and has not been returned, labelled it a ‘long, painful and exhaustive process’ that had come at great financial cost.

‘Some people say it’s a civil matter between the parents, (but) the reality is that the child has been abducted,’ he told the inquiry.

‘And if I stole someone else’s child I would be hounded by the criminal justice system.

‘In our view, it’s no different.’

In Australia, international child abductions are mostly considered civil matters, with returns negotiated depending on where the child is taken and if the parents are currently before the Family Court.

In the strongest case scenario, if the child is taken to a country that is signatory to the Hague Convention and the parents are before the Family Court, technically child abductions are a criminal act.

But Mr Thompson, whose son was also taken in 2008 and returned this year, said the Australian Federal Police (AFP) often had its hands tied, and prevented from acting without the consent of the signatory country.

It will only request Interpol alerts if an arrest warrant has been issued for the abducting parent, and that can only be done when the ‘left behind parent’ requests one through the Family Court.

Even then, abducting parents had no problem getting around.

Mr Thompson’s story made headlines after he cycled 6500km around Europe in a bid to find his son, leading to a tip-off that the youngster was in the Netherlands.

The former NSW deputy fire chief said the system was full of holes and provided inadequate protection for what was ‘one of the most extreme acts of abuse a parent can inflict upon their own child’.

He noted that if a child is abducted to a country that hasn’t signed up to the Hague Convention, or if his or her whereabouts were unknown, left behind parents were basically on their own.

Spending up to $100,000 was not unusual, and parents sometimes had to fight for financial assistance or even to halt child support payments.

Mr Thompson also urged for abductions to be made a crime across the board, if only to empower the police to act, rather than as punishment.

‘I’m not advocating for a moment that international parental child abduction should be a crime for the purpose of prosecuting and imprisoning a parent – that’s last resort,’ Mr Thompson said.

The Family Law Council believes parental abductions shouldn’t be made a general criminal offence, arguing international courts might be less likely to order parents back to Australia.

It did however recommend that wrongful retentions – where a child is lawfully taken overseas but not returned – have the same criminality as wrongful removals.

The Senate inquiry is due to report by October 31.

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