Archive for November, 2009

Family Fights Odds, Retrieving Kidnapped Girl

Child abducted to China by father

In New York, he had been an absent father and abusive husband who worked erratically at makeshift jobs. But his calls and e-mail messages from China, where he had gone in the fall of 2007 to teach English, promised his estranged wife that everything had changed. Their little girl deserved the chance to grow up in a two-parent family, he told her, and he sent them airline tickets to join him.

The day after they arrived in Beijing in January of this year, said the wife, Olivia Karolys, the husband, Rodrigo Karolys, took them shopping in a mall far from their hotel, and told her to get her hair done. She watched his reflection in the salon mirror as he held Lenora, then 2 ½.

Then suddenly they were gone.

This is a very long article, but worth reading. I’m glad to see Lenora back home from a place that typically does not extradite. I know of a few cases where children are abducted to China, and perhaps this is a good omen. (I’ll say the abductor keeping an online journal where he bragged about such things was an act of extreme stupidity, however.) Someone on a forum I belong to stated after reading this story it was all done because the dad had kidnapped the child. The implication, of course, is that is the only situation where the law will act. To an extent this is true. I have not seen as many cases where mom reports the kids abducted and the police claim to have their hands tied as is the case where the genders are reversed. Also, as I have said before, people tend to assume mom abducted for a good reason. In both circumstances, however, there are many cases where law enforcement acts right away and starts to look for the child and kidnapper. The biggest problem is the minimization of the effects of parental kidnapping. This effects law enforcement and the public equally. I hope that this article, along with high profile cases that are currently in the news, can bring some desperately needed light to the issue.

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Mixed feelings

I can’t tell whether it’s good or bad that I regularly get updates from a variety of left-behind parents who want to keep me informed about their case.

I can’t tell whether it’s good or bad that my entire facebook account is devoted to missing people, and I can tell you who every parent I’ve friended is looking for and details about their case.

I can’t tell whether it’s good or bad that when someone’s friend has their grandchild abducted, the friend who belongs to the same message board I do immediately messages me and asks for advice.

I can’t tell whether it’s good or bad that when any news story references a past parental kidnapping, I can usually tell who it is and what happened even if no details are given.

I do know, though, that it’s bad even with all the work I try to do, I still feel I’m running in place to keep up with the problem of parental kidnapping.

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The fourth one this year

Jack and Duncan Connolly.

Christopher, Daniel, and Richard Sanchez.

Diana Alagha.

And now I must add Mitchell Romero to the mix. He was abducted by his father, who had killed his mother. It was an accident, sure. He was in a car in Mexico that rolled over. But that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

This is too much to take. After all these dead children, why isn’t parental kidnapping taken seriously? What’s it going to take?

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Shannon Dedrick found safe

The missing infant Shannon Dedrick, whom I wrote about before due to her bizarre connection to the disappearance of Paul Baker, has been found safe. She was apparently under the bed of Paul’s stepmother (Susan Baker), in a box. The stepmother is being charged along with the mother of Shannon. I’m still not sure the mother was fully involved – both of Shannon’s parents are developmentally disabled, and it’s possible that the mother was hoodwinked in some way. After all, kidnapping is a far more serious charge than taking an abandonded baby or buying an infant.

I hope that there is some new effort to locate the remains of Paul with this new publicity.

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A truly bizarre missing persons connection

Very recently, a seven month old girl named Shannon Dedrick went missing from her Chipley, Florida home. A person of interest has been named, Susan Baker. And she is a suspect in the presumed homicide of her stepson, Paul Baker, who went missing in 1987. She sent a e-mail to several people claiming Shannon was in danger from her parents. (They are apparently both developmentally delayed.)

I don’t know if Susan Baker is being looked at because of Paul’s disappearance, or for some other reason, but it makes one of the strangest connections between missing persons cases I’ve seen.

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