Recently, a 20-year-old son persuaded his father to turn himself in after the son read a newspaper story about his own alleged abduction in 1993. The young man will see his mother for the first time in 17 years. How did such a unique and perplexing case of child custody interference occur?
The young man's father had been granted visitation rights after his mother and father divorced. After a visitation from his father at the age of 3, the young man disappeared. Soon after the disappearance, a warrant for the father's arrest was issued and the multiple year search and investigation began. As recently as 2006, investigators mailed missing person photos to 80 million homes across and the country. That same year investigators kept surveillance over a family wedding in the hope that the father or son would show.
After discovering his own past, the young man informed his dad that, "I want to meet my mom and I want you to do the right thing and get this taken care of now." The son went with his dad to an attorney in Houston and the father later surrendered himself to federal authorities. The father faces charges of interference with child custody. But how did the young man stumble across a story that was 17-years-old?
A writer that works for the Waco Tribune-Herald came across the story after meeting with a new United States marshal for the Western District of Texas. People at the United States marshal meeting told a story of a boy who had been missing for almost two decades. The writer thought it was an interesting story and created an article about it. It was luck the young man unknowingly came across the story that reflected his own past.
Source: The Associated Press, "Man Recognizes Himself in 17-Year-Old Case of Missing Toddler," Leigh Munsil, 9/18/10