Most Wanted for Parental Kidnapping by the FBI
Kidnapping is a nightmare come true, for both the person being kidnapped, as well as the loved ones left behind. It is usually the most shocking or disturbing kidnappings that make the news headlines and history books. Those victims become household names. It’s hard to forget people like then 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped while sleeping in her bed and held captive by a couple for nine long months.
Then there’s Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped while enjoying a quiet evening in her apartment, brainwashed and forced to take part in several crimes, including a bank robbery. These kidnappings and the people taken have become famous.
The epidemic, as some call it, that is kidnapping, is not a new phenomenon. It is said that nomadic tribes used to kidnap brides from other tribes. In one Russian story, kidnapping is used as a reason for wives to listen to their husbands. In British, Irish and Scottish lore the fairy, which in modern days is seen as a fun and magical creature, was known for stealing human babies and replacing them with fairy babies.
While the news headlines and the folklore can be troubling and scary, there’s a very common kind of kidnapping that makes the news less often. Parental kidnapping is less likely to make news headlines, seemingly because these incidents are less of a surprise and there is an assumption that the children that are kidnapped in these incidences are somehow in less danger. The fact is, a lot of the parents who kidnap are in very bad states mentally and even kidnapping by a parent can be a horrible and traumatizing incident for a child and put them in extreme danger.
Who are these people and how did they become kidnappers?
In March 2006, when she was just under 3 years old, Chloe Combe-Rivas was kidnapped by her mother and is believed to have been taken to Mexico. Originally from Mexico, Aline Rivas-Vera is wanted for parental kidnapping in Platte City, Missouri. She entered the United States in the early 2000s on a student visa and was in the middle of getting divorced from her child’s father when she fled the country. Rivas Vera is believed to have suicidal tendencies. Chloe Combe-Riva’s father has since been granted custody of his daughter but the mother and daughter are still nowhere to be found.
Leslie Delbecq was awarded joint custody of her daughter Gabrielle Dahm after her divorce from Christopher Dahm, Gabrielle’s father. Leslie had requested to relocate to Abu Dhabi with her daughter but the court had ordered that she remain in the United States. She was clearly not satisfied with the verdict and is now wanted for parental kidnapping. With the help of her own mother and father, Jeanine De Riddere and Philippe Delbecq, Leslie is believed to have taken her daughter to Abu Dhabi, violating the court’s orders. Gabrielle has yet to be located and her family of kidnappers has been indicted for international parental kidnapping by a Federal Grand Jury for the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.
Charles Martin Vosseler
Charles Martin Vosseler was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Although they would be in their mid to late thirties by now, brothers William Martin Vosseler and Charles Jason Vosseler are still being searched for. In fact, the FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the location of either of the brothers or their father. It’s been over thirty-three years since the brothers, only small children at the time, were taken from Rochester, New Hampshire by their father. Charles Martin Vossler has ties to several states including Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Florida so although he is suspected of having kept his sons inside the United States, it is still unknown to which state he may have taken them.
On December 22, 2004, two-year-old Bianca Damanik’s father, Robert McConnell, was awarded residential custodial parental rights by a court in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Just three weeks later Elfarida Damanik, Bianca’s mother, kidnapped the young girl. It is suspected that Elfarida escaped with her daughter to Indonesia, where she was born. The two have been missing for 14 years.
Although all of these people are wanted for parental kidnapping, a serious crime, it is hard to judge them harshly. At the end of the day, many of these people are not typical kidnappers or typical criminals at all. These are parents, many confused who may have not acted like model parents in the past, but they still love their children and believe that they are doing for them what is best.