Parental Kidnapping – Va. mother faces kidnapping charges


September 29 , 2014

Source: charlestondailymail 

A Virginia woman wanted by police after allegedly kidnapping her three children was arrested in Kanawha County.

Lisa Ann Cantrell

State Police stopped Lisa Ann Cantrell, 50, of Pound, Va., late Saturday on the West Virginia Turnpike in Kanawha County. Cantrell was wanted for kidnapping her three children, a 17-year-old boy, and two girls, aged 12 and 9.

The Wise County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office issued information about a “possible parental child abduction” on their Facebook page over the weekend. The post identified Cantrell and displayed pictures of her and her three children. A description of her vehicle, a green Chevrolet Suburban with Virginia license plates, was also given in the post.

A State Police parkways dispatcher said the vehicle’s information was entered into the National Crime Information Center’s database. A license plate reader in a State Police cruiser picked up the SUV’s tags as it passed at about 10 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 77-64 and the trooper pulled the vehicle over, the dispatcher said.

Virginia deputies posted on Facebook Sunday that the three children were “safe” and that family members were en route to West Virginia to pick them up. Wise deputies were not available for comment Sunday.

Cantrell is being held without bond at South Central Regional Jail and is awaiting extradition to Virginia where she will face kidnapping charges.

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Ireland – 2 children abducted by parents each week


September 13 , 2014

Source: Irishexaminer

At least two children a week were abducted by parents taking them in or out of Ireland last year.

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Some 109 new abductions were logged with the Irish Central Authority for International Child Abduction during the year, involving 64 children taken out of Ireland and 45 brought here.

There were also 99 new applications involving access and other legal proceedings relating to children at the centre of transnational custody disputes, meaning the total number of new files received rose by 42%.

In addition, there were 138 cases on hand from previous years, meaning a total of 346 cases — the highest-ever handled by the Central Authority which is part of the Department of Justice.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said parental child abduction was a growing problem globally. “Ireland is no different and it is important that we are proactive in working with central authorities in other states in resolving complaints regarding international parental child abductions where they arise,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

As with previous years, a large proportion (49%) of the new applications related to children taken to or from Britain and the North; while 9% involved Germany; 7% Poland; 18% other European countries; and 16% the US.

The remaining 9% involved countries further afield, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Colombia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.

However, that may not reflect the full scale of child abduction as the Central Authority can only work to resolve cases involving countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Even where both parents are based in signatory countries, the large number of abduction cases carried over from previous years illustrates the difficulty in resolving them.

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Ms Fitzgerald urged estranged parents not to let personal differences become transnational legal battles.

“I would encourage any family to try to resolve their differences before such situations arise and avail of the services available to mediate solutions in the best interest of the children and all those involved,” she said. “The Family Mediation Service is part of the Legal Aid Board and can help families reach agreement without having to resort to court.”

Of the 346 cases processed, 194 related to children taken out of Ireland and in 29 of those it was decided that the children should return to where they had been living.

In 14 of those cases, foreign courts ordered their return and in 15 cases, they were returned voluntarily or an alternative arrangement was agreed by the parents. A further 21 applications were withdrawn and 82 were awaiting resolution by the end of the year.

Of the 152 cases involving children abducted into this country, 74 were unresolved by the end of the year. In 23 cases, it was decided the children should return to where they were living and in 13 of those cases, the return was carried out by consent or voluntarily. A further 21 cases were withdrawn.

See www.legalaid.ie or call the Central Authority for Child Abduction on 01 4790200.

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Parental Abduction – Boy Abducted in Seattle May Pass by SD in Boat: FBI


September 13 , 2014

Source: NBC News

FBI officials are asking San Diegans to be on the lookout for a missing Seattle boy and his father who may pass by the area on their way to Mexico.

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They believe Billy Ginger Hanson, 9, has been abducted by his biological father, Jeffrey Ford Hanson, 46, who may have taken to the high seas with the boy.

Law enforcement is concerned for the child’s safety because they say Hanson is extremely volatile.

Billy was supposed to return to his mother in Pennsylvania on Sept. 4, but he never boarded the flight.

The FBI believes Jeffrey and Billy Hanson may be aboard a white 1976 Cooper sailboat like the one pictured here. King County Sheriff’s Dept.

The FBI says Hanson, a known drug abuser, may be illegally taking his son to Mexico, the San Juan Islands or Tahiti in a 1976 Cooper sailboat with a 6-inchy red stripe along the side. The vessel named “Draco” has a Washington license plate of WN6783NZ.

In case they pass by the California coast, the agency has raised alarms here.

Billy is described as a Caucasian boy with brown hair and brown eyes, weighing 90 pounds and standing 4-feet tall.

Hanson is a Caucasian man with blonde hair and blue eyes. He stands 5-foot-5 and weighs 160 pounds. The FBI has issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of violating the international parental kidnapping statute.

If you know anything about the Hansons’ whereabouts, call the San Diego FBI office at 858-320-1800, the Seattle FBI office at 206-622-0460 or 911.

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Disturbing figures reveal Greater Manchester had almost twice the national rate of child abductions and kidnappings


September 10, 2014

Source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Police investigated 46 abductions and 20 kidnappings of children across the region between April 2013 and March this year.

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GMP investigated 46 abductions and 20 kidnappings of children across the region between April 2013 and March this year.

Greater Manchester had nearly twice the national average rate of child abductions and kidnappings last year, the M.E.N. can reveal.

Police investigated 46 abductions and 20 kidnappings of children across the region between April 2013 and March this year.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act by charity Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT), show that in 2013/14, GMP recorded 2.4 incidents of the crimes for every 100,000 people. The national average is 1.3.

There were seven incidents where parents abducted their children. Parental abduction often happens when the couples separate or begin divorce proceedings.

Figures show that more than two children, on average, were abducted or kidnapped every day in England in 2013/14.

The statistics – from 36 out of 39 police forces – show that there were 504 child abductions and 302 child kidnappings between April 2013 and March 2014. In 30 per cent of child abduction cases, the child was abducted by a parent.

Further figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of child abductions across England and Wales rose in 2013/14 for the first time since 2004/05; from 513 to 569 – an 11pc increase.

Child abduction is the act of taking a child away from their family, carer or person who has lawful control of the child without consent or lawful justification. Kidnap is similar, but the child is usually imprisoned.

Stockport MP Ann Coffey, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, said: “These figures for Greater Manchester are very disturbing. It must be terrifying for a child to experience abduction or kidnapping. Everything possible must be done to return missing children as quickly as possible.

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“We clearly need to find out the reason why Greater Manchester appears to have a higher number of abductions and kidnappings than some other areas, because it’s not clear to me why that is.”

Geoff Newiss, director of research at PACT said the figures only paint half the picture, with many abductions, particularly by parents, going unreported.

He added: “These new figures illustrate that Greater Manchester is not immune from the problem of abduction. Abduction covers a broad range of offences, including custody disputes, grooming offences, stranger sexual abuse and revenge attacks.

“A number – of all types – of abduction are not reported to the police.”

Commenting on the findings, Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick, from GMP, said: “Although the figures are higher the national average, the number is still very small within a county that holds a population of just under three million people.

“However, protecting the children of Greater Manchester is one of the Force’s priorities and we take all reports of child abduction seriously, thoroughly investigating each case.”

Charity’s schemes will help protect children

Charity bosses are raising awareness of abduction and kidnap figures to highlight two new resources to protect children – the UK Child Abduction Hub and Child Rescue Alert.

Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT) and Missing People are urging people to make use of the services, with abduction rates rising for the first time since 2004/5.

The UK Abduction Hub, set up with cash from the People’s Postcode Lottery, gives information and advice on child abduction.

Child Rescue Alert allows anyone to sign up to receive free alerts – by text, email or via social media – if a child is taken in their area.

Kate McCann, mother of missing Madeleine, launched the new Child Rescue Alert on International Missing Children’s Day earlier this year.

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Kate McCann (left), mother of Madeleine McCann, and Coral Jones, mother of April Jones, at the launch of the new Child Rescue Alert earlier this year

Bosses say abduction comes in many different forms, of varying severity, and that government statistics do not provide the level of detail required to fully illustrate the risks.

The new services, they say, could save a vulnerable child’s life and are aimed at making sure every family across the fact knows the facts about abduction and kidnap.

 

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Flight from Dulles to Beijing forced to return due to attempted kidnapping


September 5 , 2014

Source: Myfox / ABC News

An international flight, an apparent kidnapping and an unknowing plane full of passengers made for a bizarre scenario Thursday that unfolded 35,000 feet above the ground.

It should have been a routine flight for 180 passengers bound for Beijing Thursday; little did they know they were in the middle of a custody dispute.

The United Airlines flight departed Virginia’s Dulles International Airport at 12:39 p.m. When it reached Canadian air space, the FBI ordered the Boeing 777 back to Virginia after learning a kidnapping suspect was on board.

Flight 897 landed back at Dulles five hours after its departure.

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Once at the gate, passenger Lane Bailey says the pilot made an announcement; the incident stemmed from a child custody investigation. According to law enforcement sources, a child was traveling with his mother.

The child’s father, an American citizen, alerted the FBI fearing the mother was taking the child to China with no plans of returning.

At the airport, the mother was taken into police custody on attempted kidnapping charges. The child was returned safely to his father.

The ordeal soon started to make sense to the passengers onboard.

“The pilot came on board and said we were experiencing mechanical problems,” Bailey said. “After they left, the pilot came back on and said that he deliberately mislead us, he thought that, in his judgment that it was the best thing to do, given the circumstances of potential abduction that that’s the reason we had diverted.”

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The child’s mother, who was arrested on Thursday at Dulles, is expected in court later today.

Had the plane landed in Canada or China and had the FBI, not intervened, the incident may have turned into a protracted international custody battle.

In 2009, David Goldman’s case drew worldwide attention after his son Sean was taken by his then-wife to Brazil.

After a five year legal battle, Goldman gained custody of his then nine-year-old.

Updates from CNN:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had received an alert that a mother on that flight was allegedly taking her child out of the country illegally, an FBI spokesman told CNN.

Upon the flight’s return “the flight was met by law enforcement including FBI agents and three individuals were removed from the plane to include a grandmother, mother and child,” FBI spokesman Andrew Ames confirmed, via email.

“The mother was taken into custody on suspicion of committing an international parental kidnapping and the child was reunited with the father. The grandmother was not detained.”

The criminal complaint charges that Wenjing Liu, also known as Linda Liu, unlawfully attempted “to remove a child from the United States with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights.”

After separating and starting divorce proceedings in 2013, Liu and William J. Ruifrok III were awarded joint custody of their 4-year-old son, who was born in China and is a dual U.S.-Chinese citizen, the complaint stated. The 2014 custody agreement doesn’t allow either party to travel outside of the United States without “express written and notarized consent of the other party, provided in advance of the trip,” according to the complaint.

In an interview with law enforcement after being removed from the flight, Liu admitted violating the custody order by removing her son from the United States without his father’s consent, according to the complaint.

She made her first appearance in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday and has a bond hearing scheduled for Monday.

After the aircraft returned to Dulles, United assigned a new crew due to crew flight time limits, and the flight departed again for Beijing at 7:47 pm ET, the United spokesperson said.

CNN’s initial attempts to reach a representative for Liu were not successful.

It’s a federal crime in the United States for parents to take or attempt to take their children out of the United States or keep them out of the country to obstruct another parent’s custodial rights. But while federal authorities may prosecute one parent, they can’t necessarily return a child who is already outside the country to the other parent.

About one quarter of the 1,800 to 2,000 annual missing children reports received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are for international parental abductions, according to Maureen Heads, a supervisor in the center’s missing children division.

The U.S. Department of State tries to return kidnapped children through negotiation, sometimes made easier if the other country is also a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction. The United States and more than 70 other countries have signed the convention, but it only applies if both countries involved are signatories.

“That leaves many countries where there is no partner” for the United States to negotiate with, said Heads. “It can be a real challenge at times for parents.”

China is not a signatory to the convention, which Heads said could have made it harder for the father in the United Airlines case to get his child back.

 

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US Congress acts to prevent international child abductions


29 August , 2014

Source: nation.com 

WASHINGTON : Congress gave its final approval Friday to legislation that compels US authorities to assist American mothers and fathers whose children are victims of international parental abductions.

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More than 1,000 international child abductions each year are reported to the State Department, with children often taken illegally from the United States by a foreign parent to countries like Brazil, England, India, Japan and Russia. Most of them are not returned.
By simple voice vote, the House of Representatives approved the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, named after son Sean who, through an intense US diplomatic intervention, was returned to his New Jersey home years after being taken to Brazil by his mother.
The bill passed the House last December, but the Senate tweaked it and approved its version last week. The House on Friday passed the final legislation and it now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
The international Hague Convention on child abductions provides a civil framework for speeding the return of children, but the rules are not consistently enforced.
The Goldman act, first drafted in 2009, “ensures that (American parents) will now receive significant help from the US government in their fights to recover their children,” said House Republican Chris Smith, who wrote the original legislation.
“With this bill, for the first time ever, parents with children held in non-Hague countries can work with the State Department. They won’t be on their own, far from the United States, desperately trying to get their children back.”
The law, once signed, would call for increasingly severe steps taken by US authorities if a foreign government does not cooperate in helping resolve abduction cases, beginning with diplomatic demarches and escalating to cancellations of official visits, suspension of economic aid, and formal requests for extradition of individuals engaged in abductions.
It would also urge the administration to forge bilateral agreements with Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention countries to help locate and return abducted children and protect access rights for the “left-behind” parent. “These abductions are a form of child abuse and a human rights violation,” Smith said.

 

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NSU Law Professor Recognized by U.S. Department of State


August 29 , 2014

Source: PRnewswire.com

Tim Arcaro recognized for his efforts in assisting parents of abducted children.

FORT LAUDERDALEDAVIE, Fla., Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — NSU Shepard Broad Law Center Professor and Associate Dean Tim Arcaro, J.D., has been formally recognized by the U.S. Department of State for his work on the Hague Convention Attorney Network. Arcaro’s work involved representing parents attempting to recover children who have been internationally parentally abducted from South Florida, or who may be targets of international parental abduction.

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Beth Payne, director, Office of Children’s Issues, United States Central Authority for the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction issued a certificate of appreciation thanking Dean Arcaro for generously donating his legal services in assisting parents and for contributing to the effective operation of the Hague Convention in the United States. Arcaro also received commendations from Patricia Hoff, legal assistance coordinator for the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Dean Arcaro’s participation in the Hague Convention Attorney Network underscores his commitment to addressing this fundamental human rights issue and to the South Florida community,” said Jon Garon, JD., dean of NSU’s Law Center. “Parental abduction is a growing issue in the U.S. and there is a tremendous need for attorneys with training and commitment similar to Tim’s. I applaud him and each of our faculty members here at the Law Center who give of themselves in service to our community. Tim’s work reflects the fundamental values our faculty, student, and staff embrace at NSU and the Shepard Broad Law Center.”

The Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues actively seeks lawyers who are willing to participate and assist parents involved in international family law and child abduction cases. By joining the Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network, attorneys provide the critical assistance necessary to navigate through the legal system with a view toward obtaining the return of the child and, in a proper case, to make arrangements for organizing or securing the effective exercise of rights of access. More information on the program can be obtained by visiting http://bit.ly/1wmRwjJ .

Arcaro is a graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He has been admitted to the Florida and Pennsylvania bars, as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Arcaro has been a member of the Law Center’s faculty since 1994. After serving as a clinical instructor in the Civil Law Clinic, he was appointed Director of the Children and Family Law Clinic in 1998. He became director of the Master of Science in Health Law Program in 2003, and served in that capacity until being appointed director of the Master of Science in Education Law Program in 2005. Professor Arcaro teaches both online and on-site courses, including Administrative Law, Professional Responsibility, International Human Rights, and Immigration Law.

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Arcaro has lectured extensively on professional responsibility, domestic violence, child advocacy, and developing clinical legal education programs. In addition to memberships in local, state and national bar associations, Arcaro also maintains professional memberships in numerous legal, clinical and educational associations, such as the Education Law Association, International Society for Technology in Education, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and the Association of American Law Schools Clinical Legal Education section. He has served on the Florida Legal Aid Corporation’s Executive Board of Directors, the [Florida] Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, and the Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence Legal Clearinghouse. Arcaro has received many awards in recognition of his service to both colleagues and the community, among them: the 2007 Faculty Professionalism Award from the Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism; Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, from the Broward County Guardian Ad Litem Program; Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year, from the Broward Legal Aid Service, Inc.; and Pro Bono Recognition from the Broward Lawyers Care (Broward County Bar Association).

About the Shepard Broad Law Center: Nova Southeastern University’s Law Center offers a rigorous traditional academic program in three-year day and four-year evening versions, as well as dual-degree programs. Additionally, NSU Law offers three online Master of Science degrees in law in the areas of education, employment, and health. NSU Law prides itself on preparing graduates to make a smooth transition from the classroom to the courtroom or boardroom. Lawyering Skills and Values (LSV)-Every student completes a four-semester LSV sequence that combines traditional legal reasoning, writing, and research with an introduction to lawyer interviewing, counseling, negotiating, mediating, advocating, and other critical skills in a simulated law firm experience. For more information please visit http://www.nsulaw.nova.edu/

About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 314 beautiful acres in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels.  NSU is a not-for-profit independent institution with 27,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit www.nova.eduCelebrating 50 years

 

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