A Florida girl who has been missing for nearly four years has been reunited with her family. Her kidnapper is allegedly her own father, who took the girl across the border to Mexico after a child custody dispute. The 55-year-old man is now facing criminal charges for the international abduction.
The girl had spent a weekend with her father in August 2009 and was supposed to be dropped off to her mother at a local daycare center. Instead, her father took her to Mexico. In September 2009, police issued a warrant for the man’s arrest.
Law enforcement officials in Volusia County searched high and low for the girl, now 12 years old. Their big break finally came on May 12, when someone reported that the girl and her father were seen in a rural area in Mexico. U.S. and Mexican authorities worked together to apprehend the man and bring the two back to the United States.
The man is now in Volusia County Branch Jail on a $50,000 bond. He faces a felony charge for removing the child from the state illegally. Additional charges could be pending. The girl has been reunited with her family in Miami.
When courts make decisions regarding child custody, they keep the best interests of the child in mind. However, parents do not always agree with the custody order, and in extreme cases, they may plot to kidnap the child. The best thing to do is seek a child custody modification. This would allow both parents to work together and compromise on a custody plan that works for all parties involved.
Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “Dad found with daughter in Mexico now in Volusia County jail” Anthony DeFeo, May. 21, 2014