Two family abduction cases: kids found, but are they ever going to come home?

Hannah Marie Aguilera-Hurtado, age one, and Teresa Charlene Aguilera-Hurtado, age six, were abducted by their non-custodial father from Rhode Island in June 2008. They were recently listed as located…but they still haven’t been sent home to their mother. This article from the Albuquerque Journal tells the story: the two girls are living in a government orphanage in Cancun, Mexico and the authorities are trying to figure out to do with them.

Teresa and Hannah are US-born, US citizens, and so is their mom, Jennifer. Their father, Miguel, was in the US illegally when he married Jennifer and he initially lied to her about his name. (He called himself Mario Canifari and when he fessed up to her, he said he used the false name to avoid racism against Hispanic people.)

Although the NCMEC announced the girls’ recovery just a few weeks ago, this article says they were found in APRIL and they are still stuck in the orphanage as their case makes its way through the Mexican court system. Their Mom went to Cancun to fight the case and she’s determined she’s not going to leave until she gets her daughters back — she says she can’t afford it, anyway — but she’s not even allowed to visit them.

It is a well known fact that institutionalization is bad for children, especially very young ones, and adversely affects their development. And these girls have a mother who is willing to care for them and has custody of them in their home country. What’s the holdup here, people? Argh!

Meanwhile, Chandler, Hayden and Rebekah Clark (ages 23, 20 and 17) have been located safe in England. (They are still on Charley but won’t be for much longer.) Their mother, Eileen, took the kids and walked out of her marriage in New Mexico in 1995. They found her in another city, served her the divorce papers and told her to appear at a custody hearing. Instead she ran with the children, leaving their father wondering and worrying for the next fifteen years.

Well, according to this incredibly biased article, the kids seem to be all right. The oldest one is in law school, the middle one has been accepted to college and the youngest is in sixth form (which I think is like the British equivalent of being a senior in high school). They’re really unhappy about the situation and the disruption in their lives — and I can’t say I blame them there — and Eileen is royally pissed about her recent arrest and the United States’s extradition request, going on about how it is going to ruin her kids’ lives etc.

Well, she should have thought of that before she ran off with them. She didn’t just leave, the way the Telegraph article makes it sound; she deliberately hid them. The info in the article about the statute of limitations is also incorrect. Statute of limitations usually applies only as long as the offender is still within the state where the offense took place. This is to prevent criminals from fleeing to avoid prosecution — which was precisely what happened on in this case.

The Clark children all say they don’t want to be reunited with their dad, who would presumably be willing to provide a home for them. I wonder what they’ve been told about him. Only Chandler would be old enough to remember much.

It’s a very sad situation all around.