We Are Not Missing

Transcript from the THV interview

Recent headlines of a New Jersey father trying to regain custody of his 8-year-old son, kidnapped by his mother and taken to Brazil, is bringing more international child abductions into the spotlight, including one here in Arkansas.  

That New Jersey father is now getting lawmakers, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to intervene and ask for the boy's return and that's exactly what Chris Bobo of Arkadelphia is doing.

Bobo recalls, "The last time I actually had a conversation with the children was November 14, 2005; last time I saw them was May of 2005."

The last time he saw the kids during a scheduled 2 week visit to his house in Arkansas and he brought them to DFW airport to go HOME with their stepfather to the UK .  (May 2005 summer visit)

That's when a Clark County Judge awarded Chris Bobo full custody of his then-6-year-old daughter, Halle, and 10-year-old son, Jacob. He explains, "I raised them, so I know them very well."

Clark County Court did not give custody to Mr Bobo till May 2006.  This was only by default since I was not present at that hearing of which I was NOT informed of nor was I informed of the outcome of all 4 hearing Mr Bobo attended in Clark County.

Since we have lived away from Arkansas since June,2000 (with Clark County Court's permission) I can't see how Mr Bobo can say that he has RAISED THEM. Jake was born in 1996 and Halle was born in 1998. The children are now 10 and 13 and have lived in the UK for nearly 8 years.

He and his ex-wife had worked out regular visitation between Arkadelphia and her new home with her new husband in the United Kingdom, but after the ruling, Luanne Uttley refused to bring the kids back.

Like I said before I never knew about the ruling, the children were still refusing to speak to their dad and I was never informed of any rulings or court dates. What he is referring to is that I've refused to uproot the kids from their home in the UK where they have lived since 2001, schools, friends and family and turn them over to him as a result of his tantrum at being summoned to court in 2004 for owing back child support.

"Jake was terrified; he was crying. He couldn't complete a sentence and I just kept asking, 'Why? What's wrong?'" Bobo says about his last conversation with Jacob.

Jake has denied saying any of this and ironically he told me that he didn't want to go back to his dad's house because his dad was "horrible and won't stop lying".  I made a habit of being in the room when the children spoke to their dad because of all the upset he has caused them.  This conversation never took place.

 

The kids are now a fixture on National Missing and Exploited Children flyers.

Bobo explains, "By law, I'm the custodial parent. By court orders, I'm the custodial parent. By the Arkansas Supreme Court, I'm the custodial parent; per the United States government and the State Department, I'm the custodial parent."

Our case never was heard by the Arkansas Supreme Court it was an Appeal. 

We made an appeal to the ruling in 2005 where I DID RETAIN custody because of the court's behaviour in allowing witnesses to be called and the fact that the hearing should have never happened in Arkansas because of the Hague Convention and Children's Act of 1989

We have confirmed with those agencies that this is an open case and Clark County has an active felony warrant on Luanne Uttley, but it's an international battle.

Bobo explains what the U.S. Attorney's office told him, "It's what they call dual criminality and that means what she's facing in this country, the U.K. thinks our punishment is to harsh, so they will not allow extradition."

In conversations with the US Embassy, they have never had an extradition for child custody and visiation issues. Plus according to the Hague Convention's definition of abduction, the children have to have been removed from their HABITUAL RESIDENCE which is England.  According to English law and the Hague Convention, I still have custody of my children till it is brought before an English Court via the Hague Convention.  Then the children's act of 1989 will come into effect and the wishes of the children will be sought. 

So Bobo started back at square one, writing the President, applying to the Hague Convention of International Abducted Children and canceling the kids' passports.

1) Even the President is bound by the Hague Convention

2) If there had been a Hague Convention application submitted, we both would have been summoned to a court hearing.  There has been no such hearing.

3)Mr Bobo refused to sign passport applications for the children in October 2005 so their passports ran out in early 2006.  He did not have them cancelled.  He just won't sign the renewal forms.  An American Citizen cannot travel to the US on any other passport other than their US passport so we cannot go back home till the children are old enough to sign for themselves.

He adds, "Each time I've presented something and tried to get somewhere, it's been meet with opposition."

Because he has NOT followed international rules and treaties in dealing with such issues.

Bobo says he will never stop fighting; the kids last words to him are a daily reminder, "They said, 'We don't want to go back; you don't know what it's like. We don't want to go back!' My children need to be returned to the United States per United States Court orders and bottom line, I want to see my kids."

He could always see his kids in the UK.  Since 2006 they have not had US passports of his doing. The kids would love to tell him exactly what they think of his actions over the past few years. But he will always try to get people like news stations etc... to do his bidding for him because it doesn't cost him any money in doing so.

Bobo says this should not be an issue of diplomatic relations, but rather a parent's rights.

 

Halle is now 10 and Jacob is 13. Bobo sends them gifts through the U.S. Consulate which gives him reports every six months on how the kids are doing.

Mr Bobo sent Christmas gifts to the House where we have lived for 8 years in the UK and not through the US Consulate.  The US Embassy has seen the kids 3 times since 2005 not every 6 months.

According to the State Department about 3,000 abducted U.S. children are in other countries. 

There is a warrant in Clark County but NOT FOR KIDNAPPING.  It is a warrant for interferring with visiation, custody and failure to appear.  And why didn't I appear?  Well for one I didn't know about it and two the Hague Convention says that all matters concerning the welfare of the children should be heard in the country of Habitual Residence which is the UK.

 

 

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