Still more details about Amber Nicklas

The Daily Mail, a semi-tabloid newspaper from Britain, has picked up the Amber Nicklas story. In this article they state Amber’s keepers (don’t know what else to call them: they’re not a legitimate foster family, they didn’t legally adopt her, they didn’t kidnap her and they’re not related to her) are Romanian and she speaks Romanian as well as English. I also found this exclusive interview with the Romanian family, who are described as “gypsies.” That term is not strictly PC anymore, and I doubt the family calls themselves that.

This news source, which interviewed the family, also said the family was part of the Romanian community, but not whether they were born in Romania or in the US. They said they hadn’t realized at first that she had been kidnapped, and when they found out they had gotten too attached to her to give her up. They claim they tried to enroll her in school but they didn’t have the papers to do it. The father says she is “very bright” and they tried to educate her at home, but they didn’t do very well — she can’t read or write. Perhaps the family didn’t know English well enough to teach her to read in that language.

I feel deeply sorry for this girl. She has been victimized three times over: first when she was taken from her family and put in a foster home, then when she was abducted from the foster home, and now that she’s been taken from the only family she knows. I wonder if there’s any chance the Romanians could regain custody of her.

That is a tricky question. On the one hand, the Romanian family seems to have loved her and taken good care of her (besides not enrolling her in school), and it may be “in the best interests of the child” to give her back to them, especially since her biological relatives were deemed unfit. On the other hand, she was unlawfully taken, and the Romanians knew this and they knew it was against the law to keep her, and they didn’t enroll her in school. (Whether they could have or not, under the circumstances, is another issue. But a child should be in school, and lots of children have been taken away from their real, custodial parents for truancy.)

I’m glad I’m not the judge or social worker or whoever who has to decide what to do with Amber.

Here’s another question: why has Amber got so much media attention when Quranah Gilliam, who was located under very similar circumstances, hardly got any? I didn’t even find out about Quranah’s recovery for over a year.

21 thoughts on “Still more details about Amber Nicklas

  1. Jaime July 16, 2010 / 12:47 pm

    There is an article about a group of ghost hunters helping to search for Kimberly Ann Moreau. The article says she went missing on May 9,1986

  2. forthelost July 16, 2010 / 1:55 pm

    Of course, Romanians aren’t gypsies. The word they might be looking for is “Romani.”

    But then again, I shouldn’t expect much from the paper Jonathan calls the Daily Heil.

    • Meaghan July 16, 2010 / 2:30 pm

      Yeah, they’re really xenophobic. They piss me off a lot.

      • orla July 16, 2010 / 7:20 pm

        The DM has basically two types of stories

        1. Such and such a food can cure cancer

        2. Johnny Foreigner commits a crime/commits welfare fraud/is responsible for every single child abduction that every occured.

        Then they cobble the edition together with celebrity interest stories.


        It is a rag.

      • Emma L July 18, 2010 / 7:36 pm

        As Orla points out- The Daily Mail is the most repulsive British newspaper ever to exist. Racist, homophobic and just about offensive to every living being. I can’t stand it.

      • Meaghan July 18, 2010 / 7:45 pm

        Don’t forget all their stories about NHS mistakes, and other alarmist health stories.

  3. Jaime July 16, 2010 / 2:28 pm

    Giovannia Victor Villa who was abducted by his non-custodial father on March 5, 2005 has been found. His sister apparently was not able to get her passport and is still believed to be in Italy.

  4. Princess Shantae July 16, 2010 / 3:41 pm

    There’s groups of Gypsies or Romanys in the US. They mostly keep to theirselves and don’t mix much with other folks. A lot of them aren’t real educated, they tend to not finish school so that might be why these people didnt’ do so well with the home schooling.
    As for why Quranah’s case didn’t get much attention on the news…three guesses and the first two don’t count.

    • Meaghan July 16, 2010 / 3:54 pm

      The family looking after Amber doesn’t sound like traditional Roma, who even in this country tend to be somewhat nomadic. They’ve been living in Phoenix for at least the past six years. And just being Romanian doesn’t make you a Roma; Roma as an ethnic group don’t really have a nationality. I’m wondering if these people were real Roma at all, or whether they’re being called at in the news just because of being Romanian.

      As for Quranah… *sigh*

      • Jaime July 16, 2010 / 8:46 pm

        After Jaycee Dugard I believe that child abductions (even family abductions) will get more attention. The media will ride the child abduction story for all it is worth. Also a 13 year old teenage aunt took this girl. I believe the police probably checked out all of the family and friends of this 13 year old. The police may have even thought after so long that the child might be dead. I mean how long can a 13 year old with apparently no other help feed, clothe and house a baby.

        There is a saying in media circles if it bleeds it leads. The mainstream media is only putting this story out there because it is what the public wants. When Quaranah was recovered no one was interested in family abductions. Most people even after all the coverage about child abduction from Jaycee Dugard think that as long as a child is with a parent they are not in any “real danger.”

        I know most people think that Quaranah didnt get any attention because of her socioeconomic background and race and in most cases I would say that is probably true. But the media has carried several other stories about children that have been terribly abused by their parents, locked in backyards, or just plain neglected this is including minority children too. They do this to garner ratings after Jaycee Dugard. In a year or two this frenzy will die down and America will go back to the white woman syndrome.

        If you have also noticed all of the extra attention has been paid to recently kidnapped children Adji Desir, Lindsey Baum, Amber Dubois, Mitrice Richardson, and Morgan Harrington. Where are the stories about long termed kidnapped children i.e. Anthonette Cayedito, Jacob Wetterling, the Bradley sisters, Carlina White, or even the Yates sisters, or Clark siblings etc. There isnt any not because of race but because stories of long term missing children dont sell magazines or up ratings.

  5. Tina July 16, 2010 / 4:40 pm

    Sad story. Who do you return the girl too? Is her biological mother now fit to parent her? Of course, she was probably an accomplice of sort to the original kidnapping. This family at least loves her and except for her education, seems to have parented her decently. Maybe with some help, they can adopt her. That would probably be the healthiest for her.

    • Meaghan July 16, 2010 / 4:50 pm

      There was a kind of similar thing with Tiffany Stasi. She was an infant when her mother was murdered by the serial killer John Edward Robinson. He took the baby and gave her to his brother, and created some papers and stuff so his brother and sister-in-law thought it was a legal adoption. The deception wasn’t discovered for 15 years. In that case I think Robinson’s brother and sister-in-law were allowed to keep Tiffany until she turned 18, though she got visits with her father.

      Of course, in that case (A) the couple was unaware that this wasn’t a legal adoption and (B) Tiffany was an adolescent whose own wishes must have been a big factor in the custody decision. Amber’s case will be more complicated.

  6. Princess Shantae July 16, 2010 / 4:55 pm

    I wonder how the Robinsons couldn’t know the adoption wasn’t legal. Did they not wonder why they never talked to any lawyers? I’m guessing they wanted a baby so bad they didn’t see what they didn’t want to see and didn’t look with a clear head.

    • Meaghan July 16, 2010 / 5:01 pm

      John Robinson created some kind of scam social work type program to “help” young mothers. This is how he met Tiffany’s mother, Lisa. I’m guessing he told his brother Lisa had surrendered the baby for adoption through this program. Back then, off-the-book adoptions working through third parties were fairly common. They were legal at the time, but I’m not sure they would be today. I think today you have to go through an agency, unless you personally know the pregnant woman.

      I’m not surprised Robinson was able to fool his family. As you said, they probably really wanted a baby, and serial killers are masters at deception. They wouldn’t be able to be serial killers if they weren’t excellent liars.

  7. Princess Shantae July 16, 2010 / 5:05 pm

    But didn’t they still have to go to court to make it all official like changing her name and all that? And they needed a birth certifcate too right?
    Its lucky for her Robinson knew somebody that wanted a baby or he’d probably have just killed her too.

    • Meaghan July 16, 2010 / 5:13 pm

      I think the theory is that he killed Lisa FOR the baby. What a favor to do for your brother!

  8. Elaine July 16, 2010 / 10:32 pm

    I hope they can get custody of her. Poor kid has already been a victim tpo many times. I don’t agree with the ”parents” for hiding her for so long, but as long as they treat her well and let her go to school I don’t see a problem. They can always assign someone to her case for a few years to supervise if the family takes good care of her. In my eyes this would be the only good solution…I really hope they won’t put her in a foster home because I hardly ever read good things about foster homes.

    • Meaghan July 17, 2010 / 1:32 am

      Here’s a good thing: my minister neighbor was a foster parent to a severely disturbed child who was also a brittle diabetic. She fell in love with her and wound up adopting her and raising her through hell and high water.

      • Elaine July 18, 2010 / 4:39 pm

        There are some good things and there are a lot people who really care about the children, I know some too, but the negative things always make the news. I just really hope for Amber that she can stay with her ”parents” instead of having to go to another one and call other people mommy and daddy. Even if she can’t stay with them their will probably be plenty people who want to adopt her, but I just hope she can stay with them.

  9. Princess Shantae July 17, 2010 / 1:55 am

    Meaghan I saw a AP story about Amber this evening that said her people that she was with have a sign on their house advertising palm readings and taro cards. I guess they really are Gypsies. 🙂

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