His name was Nathan Slinkard and he told the Embassy clerk that he hadn’t seen his father in 18 years and wanted to go home.
In 1995 Nathan’s mother, Trena Slinkard, lost custody of him and his siblings, Sydney, age 3 and Andrew, age 7, after an Indiana judge made a custody order in favour of their father, Steven.
Trena Slinkard, in an utterly selfish move, ran with her children, ending up in Mexico, effectively severing any bond or relationship between the children and their father, who was deemed by the court to be the most appropriate custodial parent.
Steven Slinkard did what all left-behind parents do. He searched endlessly for his children, using every resource available, but to no avail.
Despite the pain and trauma of his situation, Mr. Slinkard made the best life he could. He worked as a paramedic in Indianapolis and later became a deputy county coroner, working in the same building as the sheriff’s office, the very office that received the news and advised Steven that his son wanted to be with him.
Nathan was flown from Mexico to the Houston, Texas office of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, and the following day was reunited with his dad in an emotional reconciliation.
Nathan, fluent in Spanish and English, had retained his American accent and told his father he wanted to go to university to study medicine.
Still protective of his mother, Nathan has thus far chosen not to discuss her or his siblings and their whereabouts with his father, probably because she is still facing felony abduction charges in the United States.
A happy ending, a rarity in abduction cases and still, in my view, the most destructive form of child abuse.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang