Law Offices of Tim Powers, Denton Texas
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately 800,000 children younger than the age of 18 have been reported missing since 1999. Parents.com statistics show that every 40 seconds a child becomes missing or abducted in the United States. Too often when we here about children being abducted, we automatically come to the conclusion of stranger danger. However, as statistics show from 1999-2014, 200,000 children have been abducted by family members.
Family kidnapping is primarily committed by one of the parents. According to parents.com, family kidnapping primarily involves a larger percent of female perpetrators, 43 percent more than any other kidnapping offences. Parental child abduction usually happens when parents separate or get divorced. A parent usually fears losing custody of the child and flee the city, state and often the country.
A few weeks ago, a father was reunited with his now 10-years-old son for the first time in eight years. Dean Drees had shared custody with his son Drew Drees before he was abducted by his mother Padmashini Devi Drees and fled to India. According to the Dallas Morning News, India is one of the top 10 countries that parents flee with their children. This is because “India is not part of the Hague Abduction Convention, a 1980 treaty developed to help countries during International child abduction cases,” says the Dallas Morning News.
After she fled, an arrest warrant was issued to Padmashini for interference with child custody. Dean Drees worked with the FBI, U.S. State Department, McKinney Police Department, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. After officials located where Padmashini was, they were able to discover her plan to return to the U.S. with her son. Officials tracked her flight coming into the Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport and arrested her on the spot. Padmashini Devi Drees was charged with breaking child custody law and was placed on immigration hold. She was held on bail for $10,000.
Dealing with family child abductions is a very serious matter. According to the FBI, “there are two federal criminal investigative options and one non-criminal or civic method may be perused when a child is abducted by a parent and taken over state lines or outside the U.S.”
- The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA) of 1993: A criminal arrest warrant can be issued for a parent who takes a juvenile under 16 outside of the U.S. without the other custodial parent’s permission.
- Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP)—Parental Kidnapping: When criminal charges are filed by a state that requests our help, a criminal arrest warrant can be issued for an abducting parent who flees across state lines or internationally.
- The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: In nations that have signed the Hague Convention, there is a civil process that facilitates the return of abducted children under 16 to their home countries.
Here are a few tips from the U.S. Department of State’s International Parental Child Abduction Agency:
- Don’t delay action if you suspect the other parent has taken your child.
- Be alert of actions taken by the other parent.
- Don’t ignore any abduction threats.
- Get a detailed custody order and good legal advice.
- Be aware if one parent is a citizen of another country, your child might have dual nationality.
- For more tips go to: http://travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/english/preventing/tips.html or http://www.stopfamilyabductionsnow.org/parents.html
If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney for your Denton County criminal case or arrest in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no charge or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.580.2899
*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult an attorney. Criminal Defense Lawyers with Unparalleled Passion for Success Providing Quality Representation for your Denton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Carrollton, Corinth, Highland Village Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Denton County, Tarrant County, Collin County, or Dallas County criminal case