Michigan man hopes to reunite with kids taken in Mexico


June 5, 2016

Source: detroitnews.com

Eric Haan marked his eighth wedding anniversary and his oldest son’s sixth birthday this year by himself.

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Given it’s been more than three years since the Frankfort man’s wife took their children during a family vacation in Mexico and left, it was hard to do both. Now, he spends most of those two days praying and reading his Bible in Mexico.

“It’s a very difficult time,” Haan said. “I don’t even know what my sons look like anymore. It’s just very hard not being there for them, not sharing those special days.”

Haan said the nightmare began Jan. 14, 2013, when his wife, Karla Montemayor, abducted their two sons while the family of four was visiting her parents in the town of Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, near Playa Del Carmen.

He and his wife had been working through some marital struggles and getting help from their church pastor in Frankfort, where they lived.

But somedevelopments in the last few months could help Haan get closer to reuniting with his sons, Pablo, 6, and Joshua, 4.

One was that a Mexican federal court in Cancun recently ordered Haan’s wife to immediately return Pablo and Joshua to their home in the United States.

The second was another court victory for Haan: Mexico’s Supreme Court in December overturned a lower court’s decision to deny the boys’ return to the U.S. On top of that, a Benzie County Circuit Court judge issued an order on May 19, 2016, giving Haan parenting time with his children and requesting the FBI help find Haan’s estranged wife and his sons.

The situation had looked pretty grim.

Haan was convicted of domestic violence charges Montemayor filed against him in Playa Del Carmen. He is appealing.

Not only that, he said a Mexican court worker tried to deliver legal documents for another matter to Haan’s wife in December but found the home where she was staying with their sons abandoned.

Haan called Montemayor’s cell phone and sent her email, but she has gotten rid of her phone and shut down the email account, he said. He has also been unable to contact her family members.

“Since December, we’ve not known where my wife and children are,” Haan said. “I’ve tried to find them in Mexico, but haven’t been successful. The key thing in the (Benzie County Circuit Court ruling) is a judge requested the FBI become involved in locating my children.”

He said his attorney, Carlos Alvarado, has told him the Michigan court decision is enforceable in Mexico because of the treaties it has with the United States.

Haan’s story is an example of an international child abduction, a crime the U.S. Department of Justice defines as “one parent removing a child from the U.S. or retaining a child in another country with intent to obstruct another parent’s custodial rights.”

If convicted, a parent can face up to three years in prison for the crime.

More than 530 cases of international parental child abduction cases were reported to the U.S. Department of State in 2014, according to the agency’s 2015 annual report on the crime.

Mexico accounted for the lion’s share of the cases with 169, the department reported. Fifty-nine of those cases were unresolved.

And how many more cases went unreported is anyone’s guess, said officials with Child Find of America. The group is a national nonprofit based in New Paltz, New York, that works to prevent and resolve child abductions.

To make matters worse, there aren’t any accurate figures for how often internationally abducted children are returned to the left-behind parent, the group said in an email.

“Our general sense is that recovering an internationally abducted child can be very difficult,” the group said.

Haan met his wife in 2007 through a mutual friend during a business trip to Mexico. Haan and Montemayor married the next year and lived in St. Joseph, a small lakefront town in southwest Michigan.

Pablo was born in 2010 and Joshua arrived the following year. The family moved to Frankfort, about 40 miles southwest of Traverse City, in 2012.

That Christmas, Haan and his family visited his in-laws in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. During the visit, Montemayor and her father accused Haan of domestic violence and he was arrested in January 2013, Haan said. At the time, the boys were ages 2 and 1.

Meanwhile, his appeal of the conviction on the charges is working through Mexico’s legal process. Haan said nowhere in the charges are allegations that he physically harmed his wife.

“I’m completely not guilty of these charges,” he said. “It’s disturbing that I’ve been found guilty of something that never happened. It’s pretty clear they were filed to keep my children in Mexico.”

Haan said his lawyer feels confident he will win his appeal once it gets into federal court.

“Since we found some human rights violations, we are very optimistic either from appeal court or from Federal Court,” Alvarado said in an email.

Haan has also filed several lawsuits in Mexico against Montemayor. One is based on criminal charges for not letting him see his children. Another seeks restitution for his legal costs. A third is a civil action seeking visitation with his sons.

He said the ordeal has cost him more than $100,000 in legal and travel costs.

“I’ve spent over $70,000 on lawyers alone,” Haan said. “I’m starting to run out of money.”

In addition, Mexico’s courts require him to stay in the country, he said.

Haan worries his relationship with his sons may be irreparably harmed because they’ve spent so much time apart and he doesn’t know what they’re being told about him.

But what really hurts is all of the time with them he’s lost.

“I regret the things with them I’ve lost already birthdays and Christmases and seeing them learn and develop,” Haan said. “That’s irreplaceable. I can’t get go back in time and get it back. That’s gone forever.”

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Texas Boy Kidnapped by Mom Found After 4 Years in Mexico


January 17, 2016

Source: Breibart

Mexican authorities have found a 10-year-old Texas boy who had been kidnapped by his mother four years ago and taken to Mexico.

Sebastian-Alexander-Lorio

Sebastian Alexander Lorio Galvan was taken from his Texas home in 2011 by his mother Veronica Galvan Lorio, according to Mexican authorities. The mother did not have parental custody of the child.

Sebastian was last seen in Brownsville, Texas, in September 2011. He was eventually taken into the Mexican city of Matamoros.

Mexican federal authorities, acting under a federal warrant, arrested Veronica Galvan and secured the now 10-year-old boy this week at a house in Valle Del Cauca Street in the Valle neighborhood of Matamoros, information provided by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) revealed.

Veronica Galvan Lorio

Veronica Galvan is currently wanted by Texas authorities on the state  charge of interfering with child custody, which is a state jail felony as per the Texas Penal Code.

Mexican authorities took Galvan before a federal judge in Matamoros who will determine if she will face charges in Mexico. The judge will also determine if she will be extradited to Texas in connection with the pending warrant.

It remains unclear when Sebastian Alexander Lorio will be reunited with his father Alex Lorio.

As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, parental kidnapping cases in Mexico tend to be a difficult and costly case particularly when the father is the one fighting to get the child back. Late last year Mexico’s Supreme Court sided with Eric Haan, a Michigan man that had been fighting for his children almost three years. The children’s mother “Erica” and her parents took them to Mexico during a family vacation. In Haan’s case, the case took a series of twist and turns as the family hid behind Mexico’s complex and difficult legal system in an effort to keep the children. 

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American Father’s Nightmare: Children Kidnapped in Mexico by Ex with Wealthy Local Relatives


November 29, 2015

Source: Breitbart.com

By: Ildefonso Ortiz

An American father who traveled to Mexico for vacation almost three years ago had his two sons kidnapped and was falsely imprisoned. Since then he has been fighting in an effort to get them back.

Eric-Haan

After years of dealing with Mexico’s corrupt judicial system in the lower courts, the case is headed to Mexico’s Supreme Court where, if international laws are upheld, the children should be returned to the United States. 

Read: We can recover your abducted child

The nightmare began on January 2013, when Eric Haan took his two children along with his then wife (identified only as Erica) from their home in Michigan to visit his in-laws in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. During their vacation there, his wife along with her parents, ended up kidnapping the children and accusing Haan of being an abusive husband.

Breitbart Texas was granted access to the criminal complaint that shows a series of contradictory statements by Haan’s wife where she tries to paint him in a negative light, but the complaint does not list any cases of abuse that would be classified as such in a Mexican court. Using Mexico’s corrupt legal system, the family was able to press charges on Haan in order to keep him from the children.

Breitbart Texas has investigated Erica’s relatives who are part of a wealthy family family of developers from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and have been linked to some financial scandals. At the request of Haan’s attorney’s, out of fear of reprisals or further legal attacks Breitbart Texas is not identifying Erica by her last name nor identifying her relatives.

Breitbart Texas spoke with Carlos Alvarado, the attorney who is representing Haan as he navigates Mexico’s infamous judicial system. Haan’s case would fall under an international treaty set forth by the Hague Convention which would call for an expedited resolution to parental kidnapping cases, however, in this case the lower courts in Mexico have prolonged the case for almost three years. 

Read: Prevention of Parental Abduction – Recognizing the Warning Signs

Alvarado also pointed out many of the irregularities in the case such as how the local family court judge in Playa del Carmen used the accusation that had been filed against Haan in order to rule in Erica’s favor. In her ruling, the judge referred to Haan as a convicted criminal, however the American citizen has not been convicted of the allegations filed against him.

Haan sued in Mexico’s federal court to have the judge’s decision overturned. While Haan lost that lawsuit in March, his attorneys immediately filed for an appeal. The appellate court referred the case to Mexico’s Supreme Court which is set to review the case in the coming days.

In preparation for his hearing, Haan even started a petition on the website Change.org where he asks Jorge Mario Pardo Rebollo, one of the Mexico’s Supreme Court Justices who will oversee his case, to return the children to the United States.

As Haan’s ordeal continues to unravel, the American father has become an international voice for the crime of international child abductions. In an effort to bring a voice to the victims of the crime, Haan created a website http://www.endabductionsnow.org where he shares the details of his story. A crime that as seen by this case it is a lengthy and costly nightmare for the victims where many times consular offices and embassies can be of little help.

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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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