USA: Employee Saves Child From Kidnapper, Instead Of Promotion Gets This Letter Saying He’s Fired

“I was fired for stopping a kidnapper from successfully abducting a child. FML,” he wrote on Facebook


This guy from Portland, Oregon just lost his job at Home Depot for violating company policy, which doesn’t sound like such a big deal until you realize that the reason he broke the rules was because he was stopping a child from getting kidnapped!

“At the time, the only thing I was thinking about was the child’s safety,” said 32-year-old Dillon Reagan, who had worked at the Mall 205 store for four years before he was bizarrely dismissed for his heroics. “I stepped outside and sure enough, there’s this lady who’s frantic and crying, ‘Somebody help me please! He’s stealing my kid, he’s kidnapping my child!’”

Reagan and a colleague called the police and then, on the advice of the dispatcher, they followed the man on foot until the police arrived. After giving their statements, Reagan said they returned to the store around 10 minutes later, but the next day he was surprised when his supervisor scolded him for “doing the wrong thing.” A month later the company fired him for breaking the company’s safety policy, and even though they’ve since reversed their decision (possibly in light of media attention), Reagan says he isn’t sure if he wants to reclaim his job given the unfair treatment he’s received. What would you do?  (h/t: KGW)

This is Dillon Reagan. He recently stopped a child from getting kidnapped while he was at work

But instead of a promotion, his employer, Home Depot, dismissed him for violating company policy!

How Parents Can Start to Reconcile with Estranged Kids


In his latest guest blog post, psychologist Joshua Coleman explains that to repair a relationship with estranged children, parents today need to make the first move.

Psychologist and author Joshua Coleman is an internationally recognized expert on parenting and marriage, among other topics. In his last post, Dr. Coleman explored the roots of conflicts between parents and their adult children.

Today he continues his series on parent-child conflict by explaining how parents can start to repair a damaged relationship with their child.

My clinical experience has shown me that while parents are not always directly to blame for an estrangement or ongoing conflict with their children, typically they are the ones who have to initiate repairing the relationship.

I realize that this can often seem like a tall order; indeed, getting parents to take the lead is not always an easy task. This is because most parents feel like they have invested a lot in their children and shouldn’t have to go hat-in-hand to try to get their child back into their lives. Plus, it’s hard for many parents to hear how they may have let their children down, let alone admit to those shortcomings. In addition, some adult children keep the door so tightly closed that the parent must face ongoing rejection and even abuse if he or she tries to reach out. Under those conditions, many parents will feel tempted to give up.

But for those parents out there who haven’t given up, you should know that it’s hard to get very far in a parent-child reconciliation without honestly acknowledging the ways you may have contributed (or continue to contribute) to the difficulties between you and your child. It isn’t a cure-all—you may be facing problems bigger than the both of you: your child may have a mental illness, or is married to a troubled or possessive spouse; you may have to deal with an ex who wants to perpetuate the conflict between you and your child; or your child may need to blame you so that they don’t blame themselves for the way that their life turned out. What’s more, your own childhood history may have worn thin the skin you need to withstand your child’s complaints long enough to cobble together a healthy response to them.

But you have to start by trying to understand why your child feels the way they do about you—not because you deserve a proportionate punishment for your mistakes (real or perceived) but as an act of parenting, one that recognizes the changing nature of parent-child relations today.

© Steve Debenport

Yet a recent study found that overall, parents in the U.S. report more conflict with their adult children than parents in other countries. The study compared the U.S. with Israel, Spain, Germany, and the U.K. and found that the relationship between adult children and their aging parents were the most “disharmonious” in the U.S.To explain what I mean by this, consider my last post, where I talked about the ways that parenting has changed in the past century and how those changes have affected parent-adult child relations today. One of these changes is that parents now want and expect a closer relationship with their adult children.

A key reason for this is the highly individualistic nature of family relations in the U.S. While there are many cultural, economic, and institutional forces that organize family life, the primary determinant for whether family members remain close in the U.S. is based on how the relationship makes the individuals within those relationships feel.

Something similar has been happening with marriage. More than any other country, couples in the U.S. decide to get married or divorced based on whether or not their spouse is a good romantic partner. Staying in an unromantic or unfulfilling marriage is not only considered a waste of time, with or without children, but an act of existential cowardice. As sociologist and Council on Contemporary Families member Andrew Cherlin observes in his book, The Marriage Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today, Americans marry, divorce, remarry, and re-partner far more than individuals in any other industrialized country.

In the same way that couples decide to stay or leave romantic relationships based on whether the relationship is fulfilling, many adult children are now deciding whether to stay connected to their parents based largely on their evaluation of how rewarding their relationship was with them in the past or remains in the present. And since these are the criteria by which parents are judged today, parents are wise to pay attention to them if they seek a better relationship with their adult children.

This requires that parents recognize the “separate realities” nature of family life. That is, a parent can reasonably believe that she or he did a good job as a parent—and their child may reasonably wish they had done something quite different. In romantic relationships, there’s typically at least a kernel of truth in our partner’s complaints about us. The same goes for our children’s.

USA: Ashland P.D. Searches for Mother Accused of Custodial Interference



The Ashland Police Department is searching for a 21-month-old girl and her mother Shelley Sue Dahlstrom, 43, while investigating a complaint of parental kidnapping.

The Ashland P.D. was notified of the incident Wednesday morning at six a.m.
The incident occurred in the 1000 block of South Mountain in Ashland.

Ms. Dahlstrom is wanted for custodial interference, 1st degree burglary and contempt of court. She is believed to be driving a maroon 1997 Ford Explorer.

If anyone has information on Shelly Dahlstrom’s whereabouts, please call the Ashland dispatch at 541-770-4784.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the USA please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

India: Judgment Is An Eye-opener


The high court decision is a signal contribution to rescue jurisprudence

The judgment of the division bench of the Kerala high court in Akhila’s case has evoked not just rambunctious debates but even inflammatory protests on the street with an apparent contemptuous tenor. A hartal that followed showed the forceful conversion of an individual dispute into a massive religious affair. It all happened when the father of a woman who attained majority sought a habeas corpus writ to get his daughter rescued from being ‘exported’ after a deceptive conversion to another religion. The court allowed the request and granted custody of the detenue to her father.

Questions are many. Whether the judgment is subjective or does it simply reflect the opinions or even proclivities of the robed umpires? Does it meddle with well-recognised principles of freedom in religious or marital choices?

There are no precedents on facts. A judgment, in essence, rests on facts of a given case. In normal circumstances, the court does not interfere with the decisional autonomy of a major daughter in the case of marriage or even religious conversion. However, as Justice Holmes put it, life of the law is not logic but experience. Though the woman, by invoking her freedom, in the case chose strangers rather than her parents “to protect” her, the court by way of the unconventional judgment directed her custody to her father.

Justice Surendra Mohan and Justice Abraham Mathew are erudite judges of the highest court in this tiny state. The unusual judgment, in my view, is an adjudicative imperative in view of the unusual facts. The judges have given more than a dozen reasons scattered over the verdict to justify their conclusion. Removal of the detenue to an undisclosed destination, the mysterious ambiance of the alleged marriage, a casual advice for marriage given by an unknown lady, the undue and massive influence over the woman, the clear roguery displayed even before the court, submission of affidavits by the same detenue woman with different names at different points of time, the striking resemblance with an earlier episode of strategic and deceptive conversion and equally strategic marriage, the enthusiasm to hush up the factum of marriage, an apparent sponsorship for the whole events including the expensive litigation and the organizational backing for the whole process that led to so-called conversion and so-called marriage are some of the convincing reasons which the court has given in support of its conclusion. Clearly, the players were mighty and they used every trick of the trade, which the court rightly detected and rejected.


It is factually fallacious and legally erroneous to think that attainment of majority, per se, leads to automatic cessation of parens patriae jurisdiction. In Heller (1993), the US Supreme Court relying on Addington’s case held that “the state has legitimate interest under its parens patriae powers in providing care to its citizens who are unable to care for themselves”. A major man or woman may have a poor understanding of people or society or situations. The concept of “mental age” coined by Alfred Binet with the assistance of Theodore Simon is not alien to juridical evaluation. David Wechsler in 1955 had evolved a standard test called “Wechsler adult intelligence scale”.



There could be instances of intellectual disability that make a person vulnerable to organized efforts for social or religious abduction.

Earlier, in ordinary individual disputes, the court has held that the decisional autonomy of the major offspring is not absolute or unconditional (See Dr Lal Parameswar vs NN Ullas – 2014). This judgment was delivered by following an old full bench decision in Sadanandan’s case (1974) which recognized parental authority over a major daughter in given circumstances. The bench relied on certain broader principles laid down in Agar-Ellis vs Lascelles 1883 (24) Law Reports Chancery 317. Another division bench, in Parasandhkumar (1992) held that “having control over aged girl by the parents will not amount to illegal custody” and “normally (the parents) will be the proper persons to take decisions concerning the career and future of their children”. In Sreekesh vs Mohammed Ashraf (2002) the court said that “it is the responsibility of the parents to see that the daughter is not cheated”. These judgments were however, criticised by hyper technical and purely legalistic freedom arguments which essentially ignored the empirical, societal and even contextual aspects of the case.

Following the verdict of the Supreme Court in Nil Rattan Kundu (2008), the Punjab and Haryana High Court also has said that “a writ court while exercising parens patriae jurisdiction owes a bounden duty to act in the best interest of the guardee, keeping in view his/her care, protection, health, education, intellectual development, comforts, contentment and congenial environment, along with moral and ethical values”.

In Akhila’s case, the court found the repetition of an organised effort by religious fanatics to commoditise a tender-aged woman to achieve their dubious ends. No legal principle could be tested by disconnecting it from the factual matrix. The methods of protest after the judgment, in a way, endorsed the correctness of the juridical apprehensions.

Earlier, in Shahan Sha (2009), the court held: “Inter religious marriages, arising out of love affairs or otherwise, are to be recognized and promoted. …….. But (in certain cases), it is not love that is prominent, but religion. Forcible, compulsive or deceitful conversion takes place in such cases. Nobody would say that it is a healthy trend. Love is divine. It has no barriers of religion, caste or creed. But under the pretext of love, there cannot be any forcible, compulsive or deceitful conversion. It destroys the divine and sublime love”.

The instructive judgment by the division bench written in simple language is a signal contribution to the rescue jurisprudence evolved by the Kerala high court in the peculiar socio-political situation in the state, where religious extremism has its toxic share.

Kaleeswaram Raj is a lawyer in the Supreme Court and Kerala high court

Italy: 11 year-old should return to father in Italy High Court rules



An 11 year-old girl brought to England by her Latvian mother should return to her Italian father, the High Court has ruled.

The couple met and married in that country but their daughter, ‘GP’,, was born during one of their regular stays in Latvia.

By the latter part of 2010 the couple were living permanently in Italy, specifically in the central Italian city of San Benedetto Del Tronto. But at the same time their marriage was starting to break down. Early the following year divorce proceedings began.

One day he mother took their daughter to Sommacampagna, no less than 450 km (278 miles) away in Northern Italy.

The father complained to the Police and the mother eventually received a one year jail sentence for this abduction. An Italian court judgement explained:

“The Mother had acted in a pre-meditated manner, and unilaterally so as to separate the Father from his daughter, in order to pursue a romantic relationship.”

It added:

“The Mother’s reports to the police were lacking in detail, generic, and contrived to lend support to her decision to unilaterally remove the child from her family home.”

The same court also granted joint custody of GP to the mother and father, declaring that she should live with her mother from September to June and with her father from June to September. In addition, during those periods when she was with the other parent, the mother or father was allowed to visit on alternate weekends.

Meanwhile the father was ordered to pay child support of 300 Euros (£263) per month.

Under this new arrangement GP settled in a new school and began to do well. However, on February last year the mother once more absconded with her daughter, this time bringing her to Britain.

Some months later, the father began legal proceedings under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, seeking the return of his daughter. At that point the whereabouts of the pair were unknown and the English court issued a ‘location order’, compelling family members with knowledge of her whereabouts to reveal them. She was eventually tracked down via a reluctant uncle and found to be living in Shrewsbury.

In the High Court Mr Justice Hayden described efforts made to sidestep the location order as “determined” and “cynical”.

The mother admitted breaching the father’s rights and also did not deny that GP had been habitually resident in Italy (resident for legal purposes) before removal to the UK. Her defence was based on Article 13 of the Hague Convention. This allows courts to reject applications if returning the child would place them at risk of physical or emotional harm or leave them in an “intolerable situation”. It also cites any cites any objections a child may have to returning as an allowable defence.

The mother faced a possible prison sentence if she returned to Italy she insisted, while GP said she preferred life in England.

But, said Mr Justice Hayden:

“I am …clear that [the child’s] views are coloured and influenced by her mother’s own wishes.  The objections are therefore not wholly authentic.”

He added:

“GP’s life has to date been characterised by upheaval and relocation.  I have no doubt at all that her affection for England is both sincere and strong.  She is obviously settled and happy.  In addition GP is, to some extent, free from parental conflict in England.   She is also, of course, deprived of her right to a relationship with [the father] and the paternal family which the Italian courts have concluded was rooted in a ‘strong bond’.”

He added:

“The information before this Court seems to me also to reinforce the Italian courts’ conclusion that [the mother] ‘created a situation where by she could keep the child under her exclusive controlwith the purpose of excluding [the father] from any decision and contact’.”

GP should return to Italy and life with her father at the end of the next school term, the Judge ruled. The father, despite limited financial means, had pledged to try and ensure the return was a smooth one. Meanwhile, added Mr Justice Hayden added:

“I am encouraged that [the mother] agrees to accompany GP, and express the hope that she will, despite the history of her behaviour, use her best endeavours to minimise the upset to GP that my decision will undoubtedly cause. “

The judgement includes a description of the judge’s meeting with GP herself. He described her as “striking and delightful” and recorded her thoughts on his judge’s wig:

“She told me that I wasn’t what she was expecting.  By this she explained she had anticipated a man in a long Judge’s wig.  I told her that I wore one very rarely and brought it out of the cupboard for her to inspect.  She was intrigued that it was horse hair and thought it rather scratchy and uncomfortable.”


If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from Italy please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Norway: Norwegian mother receives 4 month sentence for child abduction



A 37 year-old Norwegian mother has been sent to jail for four months after abducting her daughter.

When she split from the father of her child in the southern county of Rogaland, a family court ordered the pair to share the care of the youngster. But the arrangement only last six months before the mother took their daughter to the UK without the father’s consent, NRK reports.

When he tried to contact her, the mother’s new roommate told her that he would not see his daughter again. The mother did eventually return to Norway to face to the music after four months, following the intervention of the British police and English courts. Back home she initially received a six month jail sentence.

The mother appealed this first to the Court of Appeal and then all the way to the Norwegian Supreme Court. Judges were largely unswayed by her arguments, although the sentence was reduced to four months at the Court of Appeal due to delays in the case.

Norwegian law allows for up to three years in jail for anyone who withholds a child from a parent or carer or who abducts them abroad.

Norwegian lawyer Sjak R Haaheim is a child abduction specialist. He told NRK:

“The verdict is a crystal clear signal to all those who are planning to take children out of Norway illegally. If you do, then you [will] end up in prison.”

Jeanette Solheim, meanwhile, is manager of the campaign group Foreningen 2 foreldre (the Association for 2 Parents). She agreed with Mr Haaheim, saying:

“…this sentence from several courts an important signal: it’s not okay to take a child away from the care of one parent, not to ignore a court order or judgement.”

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Norway please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Cyprus: Child abduction cases on the increase



Marie Eleni Grimsrud

Child abductions and the withholding of access of a child by one or the other parent is on the increase Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Monday.

According to Europol data, more than 50 incidents of abduction and/or withholding a child from a parent were recorded in Cyprus during the past two years.

Specifically, 24 cases were recorded in 2015, while in 2016 the number reached 29 cases of which 16 were actual abductions.

Nicolaou, who was speaking before the House human rights committee said that a protocol had been prepared for the prevention and management of such cases, which is expected to be tabled to the cabinet by his ministry before the end of July.

“These incidents are increasing due to the rise in marriages between Cypriots and EU nationals or with third-country nationals,” he said.

He also said the government had assessed the issue of withholding children and that the 2015 legislation had been amended to criminalise these actions.

Nicolaou also denied allegations that his ministry did not carry out appropriate actions for the prevention and combating of child abductions.

When asked by MPs about the case of Marie-Eleni Grimsrud, 4, who was abducted outside her kindergarten by masked men hired by her Norwegian father on April 27, Nicolaou refrained from commenting other than to say: “This is a very sensitive issue in which all actions were taken in every direction.”

There’s been no trace of the little girl.

House committee chairwoman Stella Kyriakidou, pointed out the importance of the protocol. “There is a text which provides that in the case of an abduction, a police team will immediately be assembled to investigate the particular case, as well as a specialised negotiating team.”

MPs heard that when a child abduction occurs, the first 24 hours are the most crucial. The protocol will determine how checks will be conducted at the crossing points, as well as how Europol and Interpol be informed.

“An important detail is that in most cases where children were returned to their families after an abduction, this did not happen through court proceedings, but through negotiations,” Kyriakidou added.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Cyprus please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)