Father’s Day Not A Celebration For These Dads Of Missing Kids


22 June, 2015

Source: inquisitr

Father’s Day is usually a day for dads to celebrate with their children. But some fathers won’t be able to celebrate with them. Their children have been abducted, and they have no idea where they are. Or they know where they are, but are still mired in a foreign legal system trying to get them back.

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Popular perception focuses on children abducted by strangers, but the vast majority of children are abducted by someone they know. That someone is most often a parent. And children are equally likely to be abducted by a mother or a father in these disputes. Many people will question whether a child is really in danger with a parent, but incidents like the death of Logan Habibovic, whose father abducted him and then commited murder/suicide, show there is a very real danger. Below are some of the many fathers who are hoping this will be the last Father’s Day they spend without their abducted children.

David Veasey hasn’t been able to celebrate Father’s Day with his children for two years. His children, Harrison and Laura, have been missing since a visitation with him in Southern Highlands, NSW in Australia on 2013. When he tried to get in contact with their mother to schedule their next visit, she was nowhere to be found. Email, Skype contacts, and cell phones have all been cut off. They may be traveling around Australia and may attend country music festivals.

Christoper Savoie has been waiting even longer to have another Father’s Day with his children. His ex-wife abducted their two children, Isaac and Rebecca, from their home in Franklin, Tennessee, in 2009. She took them to her native Japan. His case received a burst of attention when he traveled to Japan to attempt to retrieve them; he was captured by Japanese officials. The charges were eventually dropped but he had to leave the country without his children. Japan is one of the few industrial countries where parental kidnapping isn’t a crime.

Reed Mattocks and Donnie Owle are spending their first Father’s Day without their children. Their mother, Shira Mattocks, abducted Owle’s two sons, James and Samuel, and Reed’s daughter, Evelyn Grace Arneach, after she lost custody of all three for drug use in November. Their maternal grandmother was recently arrested and charged with helping her daughter abduct the children, but they still have not been found.

Another pair of fathers are also spending their first Father’s Day without their children. Dayton Clevenger and Steven McMorrine haven’t seen their daughters, Eden Marie and Gemalynne, since December 1. Their mother, Brittany Nunn, is believed to be accompanied by her new husband and their two children. They may be in Minnesota.

It was a little over a year ago that Matthew Watter last celebrated Father’s Day with his twin daughters, Isabella and Bronte. He dropped them off at school, but they never arrived in class. Their mother is also missing and is believed to have abducted them.

AMBER ALERT US Abducted

Eric Haan is spending his second Father’s Day without his two sons, Pablo and Joshua. His wife took the two children when they family was on a vacation to visit relatives in her native Mexico and did not return. He knows that his sons are still in Mexico, and has been involved in legal proceedings there to get them back, but has not seen them since they were abducted.

Peter Innes hasn’t spent a Father’s Day with his daughter, Victoria, since 2005. Even though she abducted her daughter, her mother has also spent eight years without a Mother’s Day with her. She took her daughter to Spain and was arrested a year later when she returned to the U.S. She spent eight years in jail for not letting Victoria return to the U.S., but was released earlier this year.

It was a set of pictures of his daughter, Lilly, sitting amongst boxes of live ammunition that made Robert Baumann go to court for custody of her. He managed to get it, but when he went to pick her up she and her mother, Megan Everett, were gone. Despite exstensive publicity, he is spending a Father’s Day without her.

William Campbell has been waiting for a Father’s Day with his son, Steven, since 2011. He was abducted by his mother and is believed to be in Mexico with her.

A few fathers will at least get the chance to celebrate Father’s Day again. Among them is Danny Cleveland. His son, Blake, was abducted to Egypt by his mother in 2012, and was only returned to the United States on June 15. Roger Williams, whose son Ethan vanished with his mother two weeks ago, was also recently reunited with his son. After five years of legal wrangling, Dennis Burns was finally able to bring his two daughters, Victoria and Sophia, home from Argentina in May, where they had been abducted by their mother. Shundy Hicks had to deal with the inital horror of his daughter, Anjalayiah, being abducted by her mother four years ago, and the even worse horror when her mother was later found in the U.S. without her. He was eventually able to locate his daughter in Mexico with relatives of her mother’s boyfriend, and this May she came home with him. For these dads, Father’s Day will undoubtably be even more joyful.

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‘Help bring them home’: Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Justice Minister launch International Missing Children’s Day


May 20, 0215

Source: 9news.com.au

International Missing Children’s Day has been launched with the intention of helping to bring home abducted and missing children.

William Tyrell

Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Andrew Colvin have launched an International Missing Children’s Day campaign in Sydney today.

With the simple slogan ‘Help bring them home’, the focus of the launch held at Fairground Follies in St Peters was on children abducted by a parent.

Michael Watter’s twin daughters were taken by their mother just after he dropped them at school last year.

“Hearing the laughter of other children makes my throat tighten and my eyes sting.”

Thirteen-year-old Laura Veasey and her 11-year-old brother Harrison were also taken by their mother in 2013.

David Veasey said parental abduction should be treated as abuse.

“Because the children are with one of the parents it’s not looked as a crime,” Mr Veasey said.

“But, it certainly has the same consequences as if your children were abducted by some other unknown party.”

Harry Speath fears his ex-wife may have taken his son and daughter Serena and Thomas overseas.

“To some extent if feels like they’ve died but there’s no bodies to bury,” Mr Speath said.

The abductions highlighted today are just a fraction of the 400 cases the AFP deals with every year.

International Missing Children’s Day is on May 25 when people gather worldwide to commemorate the missing children who have returned home, remember victims of crime and continue to find those still missing.

The main purpose of the commemoration is to encourage everyone to spread the message of hope for those children still missing.

Two young people under the age of 18 are reported missing every hour in Australia.
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Every year in Australia, more than 650 children are abducted by a parent or family member


May 19, 2015

Source: www.news.com.au

‘I don’t understand why things have come to this’

David Veasey hasn’t seen his children in over two years

Parental Kidnapping

ACROSS the country, thousands of dads and their kids enjoy kicking a ball, going swimming, or hanging out on the couch with hugs and tickles.

But David Veasey can’t do any of those things with his two children, Harrison, 11, and Laura, 13. Instead, he wonders where they are and whether he’ll ever see them again. Veasey hasn’t had any contact with his children since they were abducted by their mother in April 2013.

“It’s terrible,” he says. “I don’t know why contact was cut off. There’s a sense of loss and confusion. I fear for their safety. I don’t understand why things have come to this.”

It might sound astonishing that one parent can simply vanish with their children and nothing can be done about it, but it’s actually surprisingly common. Every year in Australia, more than 650 children are abducted by a parent or family member. Australia has the highest rate per capita of international parental child abductions in the world; it’s estimated two or three children are taken illegally in or out of the country by a parent every single week.

Veasey, 49, a solicitor from NSW’s Southern Highlands, is still struggling to understand and cope with his situation. He and his ex-wife Jane had been separated “amicably” for around a year and shared a co-parenting order given by the Family Court. In 2013, Jane moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast with Harrison and Laura, and it was decided their dad would visit every second weekend. “The last time I saw Harrison, we went to the circus and the beach,” he says. “It was always emotional saying goodbye, but we had a great weekend.”

On the third weekend Veasey was meant to visit, he received a text message from Jane. “She said they were moving in to a new house and the children weren’t available,” he recalls. “That was the last contact I ever had with them. I had two mobile phone numbers for them. At first, when I called, [both] went to voicemail, then they were disconnected. The Skype connection and emails were cut off, too. There was no way to get in touch with them.”

Veasey went to the police, but because parental abduction isn’t considered a criminal matter, he was told he would have to go through the Family Court to get a court order to try to find the children before the police could help.

“I had to apply for a recovery order [stating the children must be returned to him] so I could have help trying to find them,” he says. “I have one now, but we still can’t track them down.”

Harrison and Laura are normal, happy children. “They are easygoing, fantastic kids,” says their dad. “They love going to the movies and Questacon [Canberra’s National Science and Technology Centre]. They loved Ice Age. Harrison was — and I presume still is — into trains. They’re both very talented country-and-western singers, and Laura has won a number of competitions at music festivals. She has a real flair for performing.”

Veasey worries about them constantly. “I fear for their emotional wellbeing,” he says. “They had a strong network of friends in Sydney. Laura did singing lessons and netball; Harrison played the drums and rugby. They’ve been uprooted and taken to an area where they have no friends.”

Before contact was cut off, Veasey learnt they were being homeschooled. Not only does that make it hard to track them down, but “opportunities of interaction with children their own age have been taken away from them,” he says. “It’s hard to think about.”

Understandably, he worries about the effect that being wrenched away from the lives they once knew might have on Harrison and Laura. “Parental child abduction can have harmful physical and emotional effects on the children abducted,” confirms National Missing Persons Coordination Centre team leader, Rebecca Kotz. “Abducted children suffer the alienation of losing contact with their family and friends, miss their educational stability and are often hidden away from people around them. They are removed from almost everything familiar to them, including their toys, daily routine, their bedroom — sometimes even their name.”

Veasey says one of his main concerns is what his children might have been told by their mother: “There’s a fear that they might form a view of me based on what they’re told rather than what they know.” Kotz confirms that’s a possibility. “Children can be lied to by the abducting parent. In extreme cases, they’re told that the family they’ve left behind doesn’t love them anymore. Because of the impact on children, family child abduction can be seen as a form of child abuse.”

Parent_Child_abduction

Children abducted by strangers often make international news headlines. Madeleine McCann’s name is known across the world, and the effects of her disappearance on her family have been widely discussed by the media, which regularly runs stories on how the family is coping. But just because Veasey knows who has taken his children doesn’t lessen the huge impact on his life. “I think the level of emotion and grieving would be the same,” he says.

It’s not only parents who grieve for abducted children. “My parents don’t hear from their grandchildren and that’s very difficult for them as well,” Veasey says. “Every Christmas, they buy the children presents and put them under the tree. They remain wrapped and just get put in another room when the tree is taken down. It’s so sad.”

Although Veasey says most of his family and friends have been supportive, he worries that, as the years pass, there’s an expectation that he should perhaps move on with his life. “Over time, people just don’t want to know about it,” he says. “They don’t want to ask you about it any more. One friend — well, I suppose he’s not really a friend now — told me I should just get on with things.

“I’m no longer invited to certain events by friends with children of similar ages. Then there are things that I might be invited to, but don’t feel comfortable going to without the children. The ripples it has through the community, your friends, people you thought you were close to who decide this is all too hard — suddenly everything falls apart.”

The destruction of the remaining parent’s life is often a desired outcome by the abducting parent, says Kotz. “There are a number of reasons why a parent may abduct a child,” she explains. “In most cases, it’s for revenge. The intent of depriving the child, or other parent, of a relationship and taking them away from everything they know is traumatic, for the child and those left behind.”

Veasey functions on a day-to-day basis by going to work and seeing friends, but he feels his life is on hold. “I can’t go on holiday — I worry that as soon as I’d get on a plane they’d be located,” he says. “I started seeing a wonderful lady who had two children, but it was just too hard being with them and not Harrison and Laura. It’s not easy to lock them away and not think about them.”

As desperate as Veasey is to see Harrison and Laura again, he says he’s also very aware that a reunion might not be easy. “I haven’t seen them for over two years now — how would we interact after that long? It’s very easy to magnify all the issues and worry about what might happen.”

Although neither Veasey nor the police have been able to track the children down, there have been some sightings of the youngsters at country-music festivals, and Veasey has even seen some recent photos of them performing on stage. “It’s partly reassuring,” he says. “I know they were there and safe. But, in other ways, it increases the sense of loss, knowing I’m not involved in their lives.”

It’s these sightings that keep Veasey hopeful that Harrison and Laura will be found and one day they’ll be together again.

“I have to take it one day at a time,” he says. “I do believe they’ll be located and that it’s just a matter of time. And when they turn 16 — which isn’t too far away for Laura — they’ll be able to seek me out on their own.”

Until then, Veasey’s message for his two children is simple: “I love them, miss them and am there for them,” he says. “I’m always thinking of them.”

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