Archive for the ‘Allison Quets’ Category

Last year in a post about Allison Quets, International abductions there was mention of a parental abduction involving Robert Skelton and Karin Kvistad. In an update to the story it appeared Karin had been arrested but apparently that wasn’t the case according to AMW, “Mother Sought In Daughter’s Kidnapping“.

Police are searching for Karin Kvistad, who is wanted by the FBI for kidnapping her daughter, Marissa.


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There are currently only three Hague Cases involving missing children listed at the NCMEC as compared to 582 children listed as missing due to a Family Abduction. The NCMEC handles incoming Hague cases on behalf of the Office of Children’s Issues under a tri-party agreement with the Department of State, as U.S. Central Authority, and OJJDP but what is it’s role in outgoing cases?

While you will find plenty of information should your child be abducted abroad, or if a foreign child is brought to this country, it is not so easy to figure out where to turn if your child is abducted in the U.S. and taken out of this country.

The NCMEC, for example, lists 57 children who were abducted from the U.S. by a non-custodial parent where the abductor is suspected of traveling to Mexico as the possible location. Who is working with custodial parents to return those children?

The Hague Convention is a civil legal mechanism available to parents seeking the return of, or access to, their child. As a civil law mechanism, the parents, not the governments, are parties to the legal action.The countries that are party to the Convention have agreed that a child who is habitually resident in one party country, and who has been removed to or retained in another party country in violation of the left-behind parent”s custodial rights, shall be promptly returned to the country of habitual residence. The Convention can also help parents exercise visitation rights abroad.

Reading this statement from The Department of State, you might conclude the child has to be taken overseas to even qualify as an international parental abduction.

The Department of State considers international parental child abduction, as well as the welfare and protection of U.S. citizen children taken overseas, to be important, serious matters. We place the highest priority on the welfare of children who have been victimized by international abductions.

While non-family stranger abduction cases garner most the headlines, most missing children are either runaways or victims of family abductions. Do you remember these high profile international custody battles?

  • Anna Mae He  a Chinese girl in a Tennessee custodial dispute
  • Mary Ann Barcaro the grandmother jailed in Florida for contempt serving four months until the childrens return from France
  • Myriam Bédard the former Olympic skier accused of kidnapping her 12-year-old daughter now on trial. A judge has sentenced former Olympic champion Myriam Bedard to a conditional discharge and two years’ probation for violating a child custody order

Is your understanding your children would be returned with the help of the U.S. government if they were abducted by a spouse or other family member? Would you expect assistance in the case of an international child abduction involving a non-custodial parent?

Statistics reveal the lack of impact of the 1993 law designed to stop international child abduction. Records show there were 2,347 cases officially reported to federal authorities from 1994 to 1999, but only 503 children returned to the U.S. (Parents were granted access to their children in 50 other cases, though these children remained abroad. During this same period, the FBI launched criminal probes in 331 cases

 — less than 15 percent of all the international parental abduction cases reported to U.S. authorities. Two-thirds of these cases wound up being handled by U.S. prosecutors, but only 62 cases resulted in criminal indictments. In the five-year period after Congress passed the law making international parental kidnapping a felony, there were 13 convictions

 — roughly half of one percent of all these cases handled by the federal authorities.Experts say the official numbers seriously undercount the real numbers of abducted children still abroad illegally. The State Department reported that about half of all the reported cases were marked as officially “closed” during the period from 1994 to 1999. But the fine print in federal reports notes that 646 cases were “closed” because local courts refuse to hear the cases, because the left-behind parents didn’t follow through on their complaint, or because the case dragged on for so long that the abducted child is now over age 16, the limit for Hague cases. None of these 646 closed cases were “solved” with the return of an abducted child to America.


So why are there only three children ?

Recently,  State Department spokeswoman Megan Mattson was quoted as saying about 3,000 abducted U.S. children are currently in other countries, including 70 in Brazil, fifth most after Mexico, India, Japan and Canada.

You may want to view this NCMEC Publication, “The Kid is With a Parent, How Bad Can it Be?”: The Crisis of Family Abductions.

Update 01-31-09:  There are now 37 children listed as Case Type: Hague cases at the NCMEC many dating back prior to this post.

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Did you know there are 528 Children listed as Missing at “The Florida Department of Children and Families” (DCF)? These are children in the “care” of the State of Florida. So why does the State continue to try to add children to the system when there are existing family members who want them? 

Earlier this year Allison Quets was charged with “international parental kidnapping ” and ordered jailed without bond. This has made it almost impossible financially to legally fight for her children or even defend her actions.

Mary Ann Barcaro was held on contempt charges for allegedly refusing to return her grandchildren to the U.S. even though she had legal custody of them. Her efforts were further complicated by the government stopping her and her husband’s social security checks.

YULEE – A young brother and sister whose grandmother was jailed for more than four months in Nassau County for not returning them from France will be given psychological evaluations to assess their understanding of the situation, a judge ordered Monday.

The children, who have been in foster care since last week, hold their mother responsible for what has happened, said Deirdre Wallace, an attorney for a guardian ad litem program that advocates for children.

In Miami, a father wants to take his daughter back to Cuba but lacks the funds to battle the wealthy family she was placed with who want to adopt her.

MIAMI – Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen agreed to let the case go to trial against the father, but she jumped on Rebecca Kapusta, an attorney for Florida’s Department of Children & Families, who argued the girl should be allowed to remain with her wealthy Cuban-American foster family. The case is raising memories of the battle over Elian Gonzalez almost eight years ago.

“Our experts have told the father to remove this young girl at this young age would result in permanent injury and she would never recover,” Kapusta told the judge.

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The Federal Government is pursuing conspiracy charges related to dogfighting against Michael Vick. One of the interesting revelations has been that more serious charges won’t be able to be sought due to the efforts of Rep. James Sensenbrenner.

Read the  Michael Vick Indictment

Cockfighting Ban Opposed

by Leah Nylen
Mar 30, 2007

WASHINGTON – Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Menominee Falls, doesn’t have anything against animals, he just doesn’t think a law on animal fighting is a good use of federal resources.

The Animal Fighting Prohibition Act, designed to curb the growing prevalence of dog fighting and cockfighting, makes animal fighting a federal felony, punishable by up to three years in prison. Animal fighting is a misdemeanor under Federal law. The bill passed the House on Monday, 368 to 39 but faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

One of those dissenting votes was from Sensenbrenner. Rajesh Dharwani, spokesman for Sensenbrenner, said the congressman opposed the bill because he thought it would divert resources away from more serious crimes.

Perhaps those resources could be used to fulfill the promised funding and implementation of the “Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Protection Act of 2006″.

Or were you refering to the manpower to keep violent, mothers/grandmothers incarcerated. Maybe you could even question why Allison Quets or Mary Ann Barcaro remain in jail while Michael Vick does not. Is it because they are fighting for kids and not fighting dogs or do they just throw like girls?

Rep. James Sensenbrenner is probably better known for the “Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Protection Act of 2006″.

” House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R- Wis.), the sponsor of H.R. 4472, released the following statement:

Chairman Sensenbrenner said, “This legislation makes one thing clear to sex offenders across this country — you better register, and you better keep your information current, or you are going to jail….

Related Posts:  You snooze you lose

Related blogs:   Allison Quets

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In a previous post,  Liberty and Independence , the mother of a girl who authorities said was missing for 13 years was acquitted of parental kidnapping charges. Monday a Utah woman was arrested for an abduction 26 years ago.

Utah authorities on Monday dismissed the fugitive case against a woman recently arrested in Magna for fleeing California with her 6-year-old son in 1981.

Donna Marie Brewton, 62, who was living in Utah under the name Kathleen J. Amidon, surrendered on Friday to Orange County authorities, according to her Salt Lake City attorney Paul Grant.

Grant worked out an agreement that allowed Brewton to return to California on her own and not in handcuffs.

Salt Lake Tribune

Meanwhile Allison Quets remains incarcerated in North Carolina for the past 183 days awaiting trial on International  Parental Kidnapping charges for taking her twins to Canada.

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When a child goes missing, should how the child was conceived matter? Should it matter if the parents are married? Should the child’s or parent’s race, religion, immigration status matter? Should it matter whether they are adopted or in Foster Care? What about the age of the child?

In the post Shame or Blame Canada a comment was made concerning the conception of Allison Quets’ children. It is an opinion you will see expressed on other sites and certainly each side has strong feelings.

On a side note, they are not even her biological children. She used donor eggs and IVF to conceive.

 Does this somehow diminish whether she is a mother or not? 

What made the point more relevant for missing children is that you can find articles, blogs, comments, message boards all discussing the McCann’s decision to leave their children unattended while they dined nearby. What you won’t find, are disparaging remarks regarding Kate’s status as a mother. In fact how her children were conceived appears to be a non issue while garnering wordwide support for Madeleine.

Madeleine’s great uncle Brian Kennedy assists in putting the issue perspective in this article.

Describing Madeleine as a “thoughtful, intelligent child” who loves her twin brother and sister, Mr Kennedy added: “I think Kate and Gerry will find it an extremely distressing day.” Four years ago, Madeleine was born an IVF baby desperately wanted by her parents, and their memories of that day must be of euphoric happiness and relief at her safe arrival.


In an ironic twist, one of Allison Quets harshest critics early on is according to the Atlanta Constitution expecting twins.

According to the report, Grace is married to David Linch, an Atlanta investment banker. The two attended Mercer together in the 1970s and have stayed in touch, the Post story said.

Grace told the Post their marriage was a “spur of the moment decision” and that the pair had a simple ceremony in Macon, Grace’s hometown.

The Post said Grace declined to say if she’d had fertility
treatments in order to become pregnant at age 47.

On June 28th the Nancy Grace show did try to update viewers on the arrests made in the Madeleine McCann disappearance but like so many other missing children cases, it was to little to late.

She kept referring to her as “baby Maddy” which was similar to how she used to refer to “baby Trenton” although he hasn’t received air time in quite a while.

 Update 07-06-07 While Allison Quets’ fate is yet to be determined, her twins are celebrating their 2nd Birthday today.

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When you think of horrific acts that could land a 73-year-old grandmother in jail, does a European vacation with the grand kids come to mind? Apparently that is what has happened to this women who sits in jail with no bail accused of violating a visitation order according to this Florida Times Union article.

 Years ago as one half of the famed DeJohn Sisters, a young Mary Ann Barcaro shared the stage with Dick Clark, Kenny Rogers and Ed Sullivan.

Now at 73, she shares a room inside the Nassau County jail with drug users and check kiters. She has been there two months for taking her grandchildren to Europe to see their father and not bringing them back. She has had custody for years and said she notified the authorities of her plans in advance.

She has had custody for 5 years. Her recently released from prison daughter-in-law is instrumental in the effort to prosecute her for denying her “quality” time with her kids.

  • Do those who argue Allison Quets should remain jailed for taking her birth children in the midst of an adoption battle support a “mother” who only is allowed by the courts a 1-hour visitation per month for failure to complete court order programs?
  • At what point are Judges held accountable for their decisions or at least required to communicate with those they were elected or appointed to serve?
  • Will it take public outcry and hearings similar to that of Durham NC District Attorney Mike Nifong  ?


FOURTH Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties)

Judge Robert M. Foster (Nassau County)

State Attorney for the FOURTH Circuit: Harry L. Shorstein

Adoption Attorney handling the case of Allison Quets: Michael A. Shorstein (Shorstein & Kelly)

Learn more about the DeJohn Sisters


Disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong believes he should be disbarred for his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely acussed of rape, his attorney said Saturday.

The stunning announcement came not long after a disciplinary committee ruled that Nifong, who had already pledged to resign as Durham County district attorney, broke numerous rules of professional conduct and found that his actions involved “dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation.”

Update 08-02-07    She has spent four months in jail. Once the children are returned she should be released.

When the plane carrying Melody and Zachary Barcaro lands – possibly in the next 10 days – Mary Ann Barcaro will be freed from the Nassau County jail cell she has called home since April 10.

Update 08-22-07 Mary Ann Barcaro was released from jail today.

Two children whose return to the U.S. was the key to open their grandmother’s Nassau County jail cell arrived Tuesday at Jacksonville International Airport and were ordered to be turned over to state authorities.

Update 08-27-07  How could the mother of the children who supported prosecuting Mary Ann Bacaro not know the children were in the custody of the state?

Mother Still in Dark After International Custody Battle

Interesting comment…you would think she might want to know.

“If you’re watching, just know, I’m here. And please take care of them, whoever’s got them,” said Lisa

 Update 11-17-07   A family reunited

YULEE – Grinning faces marked the end of seven months of uncertainty Friday for a brother and sister whose grandmother spent four months in jail rather than bring them back from France in a dispute over custody.

Update 12-11-07    By Dana Treen, The Times-Union

Another twist for mangled custody case     
A Nassau County grandmother again loses custody of two kids.

Update 01-30-08

 Florida Times-Union, FL – Jan 30, 2008
Judge Robert Foster ruled Wednesday that Zachary Barcaro, 10, and Melody Barcaro, 8, could live with their father, James Barcaro.


DURHAM, N.C.Former Durham County district attorney Mike Nifong was set to report to jail Friday morning to serve a 24-hour sentence for criminal contempt. He was scheduled to show up at 9 a.m.

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