A Texas girl who was kidnapped by her mother in April 2002 was located in Mexico on Sept. 30. Two years before her disappearance, the girl's parents had finalized a divorce settlement in which the girl's father was granted full child custody. The girl's mother was reportedly spending a weekend with her 4-year-old daughter when the two of them went missing.
Ten days after the girl's disappearance, FBI agents determined that she was outside of the United States. On several occasions, the exact location of the girl and her mother was almost found. Authorities believe the mother was able to outwit investigators by changing her daughter's and her own appearance on multiple occasions and assuming new identities.
Before the girl and her mother were found, the father had reportedly hired a private investigations firm to work on the case. A confidential informant working for the firm found the mother in Tlaxcala, a town outside of Mexico City, after conducting surveillance on her for almost two weeks. The mother was extradited to the United States to face a charge for aggravated kidnapping. In apparent good health, the now 17-year-old girl was transported to a Texas medical facility to receive treatment.
Although not all child custody disputes are this extreme, many other parents may be dealing with a child custody agreement that is not being respected by the other parent. If the noncustodial parent is disobeying the custody agreement by taking the child for longer than the visitation time they have been granted, it may be wise for the custodial parent to begin taking legal action in a timely manner.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Sabrina Allen, Texas girl kidnapped 12 years ago, found in Mexico", James Queally, October 01, 2014