Judge orders detention of Lawrence mother who fled to Europe with daughters


December 18, 2015

Source: The Kansas City Star

Samantha Elmer flew to Europe with the 9- and 11-year-old girls – Their father was seeking full custody of them.

Samantha_elmer

A Lawrence woman charged with kidnapping after taking her two daughters to Europe will be held without bond pending trial, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Samantha Elmer, 33, was arrested Dec. 8 after returning to the Kansas City area with the girls. She took them while facing a child custody hearing involving her former husband.

A federal magistrate on Monday ruled that Elmer could post bond, but prosecutors objected. On Thursday, District Judge Carlos Murguia ordered her continued detention while awaiting trial on the international parental kidnapping charge.

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Elmer flew Oct. 26 to Europe with the 9- and 11-year-old girls. Their father was seeking full custody of them. Elmer also was facing prosecution in Johnson County on charges of theft and criminal use of a credit card.

Elmer forged the father’s signature on passport applications for the girls, court documents filed by prosecutors allege.

Elmer decided to return to the United States after she said her money was stolen and the FBI agreed to not arrest her in front of the girls, according to court documents.

The girls live with their father in Smithville.

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