This is a long letter which accurately outlines the timeline of events since 2001 when we legally moved to the UK.
Any documentation is available by clicking the hyperlink. Then go to the drop down menu for catagories and choose the one that corresponds.
Not all documents are available but more are being added daily. All documents are a matter of public record with the Clark County Court and other sources.
Hello Miss Yancy,
I am Luanne Uttley, the person that has been demonised on Arkansas Television recently. I was alerted to this story by friends and family in America and I am utterly shocked and dismayed. I just wanted to ask why no one took the time to contact me and to get a statement? Even in the New Jersey case you speak of in your report, there are statements from the deceased mother's family. Just for the record, I have lived in the same house with the same phone number in the UK for nearly 8 years now. In light of this I believe that it is gravely irresponsible to put a story like this on Television without at least getting a response from the other party involved. This is particularly damaging to the children involved and I believe compromises their safety. Anyone has access to their pictures and details and might take it upon themselves to personally take action.
We are not lost, abducted, abused, missing or otherwise. The children have now seen this interview and their posters on the missing children's web sites. Previously they have seen the court documents related to the hearing in October 2005 and they keep asking when their Dad is going to stop this. His 13 year old son just says "why can't he just go away".
Contrary to popular belief, I have not kept the children from their father. In actuality they do not want to see him or speak to him.
To set the record straight, I have written a time line of all events regarding the children and have documentation available upon request.
DIVORCE AND CUSTODY
Mr Bobo and I divorced in 2000 citing irreconcilable differences. I was persuaded to use that reason rather than the real reason because it was a “cleaner and easier” way to get it through the court. I then moved to Oregon in July 2000 after the divorce was final to be near family, with full custody of my children. (Divorce custody 2000 doc) In July 2001 I moved to England with my children and remarried. All with the blessing of the Clark county court.( Court Orders) The children have lived away from Arkansas since July 2000. They have not lived in Arkansas at any time since then and contrary to Mr Bobo's statement in your interview, he has NOT raised them (the children). His daughter was a mere infant when Mr Bobo left the family home and I filed for divorce.
CONTEMPT MOTION FOR BACK CHILD SUPPORT
The children visited their dad according to the visitation agreement. There was no mention officially or otherwise about concern for the kids well-being at all until after I filed for back child support in November of 2004 (Contempt Nov 2004). This was related to false dates that were presented to the court clerk's office giving Mr Bobo a child support reduction that he was not entitled to (documentation available). Even then there was no mention of any concern for the children's welfare and the counter suit came in the form of a change of custody because I continued to live outside the jurisdiction of the Clark County Court (Documentation available). Even at that point they were admitting that Clark County Court had no jurisdiction over us since we lived in the UK.
CHRISTMAS VISIT 2004 and Counter Suit
We actually laughed at his feeble attempt to hit back at us when we uncovered his deception and the fact that Clark County Court gave us permission to move to England. Meanwhile, The Christmas 2004 visit was approaching and Mr Bobo then began insisting that the children fly alone on a transatlantic flight for this visit (Christmas visit 2004 doc). (Solicitor Letters)Now bare in mind that my daughter is Autistic/ADHD and was only 6 years old. I refused to send the children on their own and made it perfectly clear that they were available for the visit but we would do as we had always done and have a parent fly with them to and from the US. There was no further discussion on the topic and the children didn't go for the Christmas visit. Shortly after we were served with another counter suit claiming that I was refusing visitation (Contempt Motion for visitation doc).
SUMMER VISIT TO THE US 2005 and YET ANOTHER COUNTER SUIT
My Attorney at the time said that we should probably wait a while before taking the issue to court in order for Mr Bobo to have filed his tax return so that we could also have a child support review of which the custodial parent is entitled to every 3 years. In April 2005 Mr Bobo began to suddenly cooperate with the visitation agreement and we arranged a 2 week visit for the end of May 2005 to his house for the children with a parent accompanying them to and from the US. (May 2005 visit document..proving that the children visited their dad in the US for 2 weeks and not the other way around as he would have people believe) I became increasingly worried about the visit and expressed my concerns to my attorney that since Mr Bobo was acting so erratically that he may try to keep the children as a retaliation for the request for back child support. During the visit I rang repeatedly to speak to the children to find out how they were getting on and kept getting no answer. Finally, I decided to call in the wee hours of the morning England time and miraculously got through. It was the worst two weeks of my life having to send the children to Arkansas with all the issues going on the background but at least the children knew nothing of it and I aimed to keep it that way.
At the end of the two week visit in June 2005 the children did fly home from DFW Airport being brought to the airport by their father Mr Bobo. Soon after, I was increasingly worried because they were acting very strangely and Jake was waking up in the night with panic attacks and nightmares. (doctor's documentation available upon request) Halle was making strange statements. Since Halle had been under the care of psychologist and psychiatrist (Dr. Susie Winn Wilson) for several years while they were trying to determine the extent of her difficulties etc.. I spoke to the doctor and asked if she could speak with Halle in order to determine what exactly what had gone on in Arkansas. The result was shocking. My son finally told what he knew but was increasingly worried because his dad told them NOT to tell anyone or he would be very angry with them.
In a nutshell my children were taken to a family friend of Mr Bobos who happened to be a Church Counsellor without my knowledge and were mentally and emotionally harassed by their father with the promise of gifts in turn for their cooperation to say rehearsed statements against us. Both children were threatened NOT to tell of the visit to Mr Visor's office. Both children were very upset by the ordeal but would not dare cross their father. Soon after they returned we were served with yet another counter suit for Custody because of “ongoing abuse of the children” (Documentation coming). I was absolutely HORRIFIED! And all this as a response to a petition for back child support! My Attorney encouraged me to hire a bigger firm that was more experienced with Child Abuse cases which is what Mr Bobo had managed to turn this simple child support issue into. He did NOT fire himself because he didn't believe me, as MR Bobo would have people believe.
NEW ATTORNEY AND COURT OCTOBER 2005
I hired Tripcony Law Firm in Little Rock Arkansas. Meanwhile, I sought counsel from a Firm in London, Brookman and Associates, who specialize in international family issues. My attorney Heather May asked for a continuance in order to become familiar with the case and prepare. They corresponded with Mr Brookman who informed them that jurisdiction and evidence pertaining to the children's lives all lay within the UK because of the time period away from Arkansas (habitual residence) and according to the Hague Convention that any matters involving the welfare of the children are to be heard in the UK (Documentation Available). A week before the October 31st 2005 trial , Mr Dimaggio from Tripcony Law Firm went to Clark County Court asking for a dismissal in order to move the case to the UK according to the Hague Convention and Mr Brookman's advice. The court refused. Then he asked for a continuance and relief in order to obtain statements from witnesses in the UK. The court refused to comply. So there were no witnesses allowed to testify from the UK on behalf of ourselves and the children unless they could spend thousands of pounds to go and sit in Judge Thomas' court room (Documentation Available) even though the law allows for relief in situations such as these.
Under very sound advice I was advised to let my attorney Heather May represent us and for the children and I to not leave the UK. The court date went on as scheduled and because there were no witnesses to agree or disagree, Mr Bobo's claims were slated as hearsay and were not able to be presented in court. I retained custody and Mr Bobo was ordered to increase his child support. (Order October 2005 )My husband and I have now spent in excess of $40,000 in legal fees trying to defend ourselves and our children from the viciousness of this man's attack on our family. Money that would have been better spent supporting our children. In the hearing on October 31st 2005, Mr Bobo also refused to sign the children's passport renewal forms knowing that the children's passports were about to expire. (Documentation Available)
I tried very hard to keep the children out of any disagreements that I had with their father but when Mr Bobo chose to involve them, I had no choice but to discuss the matter with them and show them the documents that contained their names and statements . After the Court Hearing in October 2005 Mr Bobo continued to phone the children and on each occurrence it was followed by distress. The conversations consisted of how Mr Bobo was going to get custody of the children and they were asked how they would like their rooms decorated for when daddy gets them. They were increasingly worried by what they were hearing and at that point I told them that if it was so upsetting to them that they needed to make their own decision as to whether they wanted to take the phone calls or not. Since, as a parent, I am morally obligated to encourage the children to speak to their Dad. Both children made their own decision and decided not to.
APPEAL TO THE ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
Legally, we continued fighting but only with an appeal to the Arkansas Court of Appeals for the Clark County Court's conduct on several matters. I retained Heather May to draft the Appeal ONLY. (Documentation Available ). During the time my case was being prepared for appeal my research found that the percentage of Clark County Court cases that went to appeal were way above the State average for head of population. Which only served to strengthen our belief that the Clark County Court acted with a certain amount of negligence in our particular case.
The appeal was read by the Division III of the Arkansas Court of Appeals on November 16th 2006 under the direction of Judge Robert J Gladwin. We were unsuccessful in persuading the Arkansas Court of Appeals to admit any negligence by the Clark County Court and the rulings from the hearing in October 2005 to change jurisdiction stood as did the October 31st 2005 ruling. (Documentation Available)
EMBASSY VISIT AND SOCIAL SERVICES
On May 24, 2006 I received a letter from the US Embassy in London stating that Mr Bobo had contacted them and requested a welfare visit. The children were still refusing contact from their father and wanted nothing to do with him or that whole affair in Arkansas. I phoned Douglass R Benning, Consul at the US Embassy and arranged a visit for June 23rd 2006. “The children were extremely relaxed with their mother and stepfather and with Consular Staff...They were open, engaging, talkative and polite and laughed and joked with their mother and stepfather and with Consular staff....The children do not appear to be suffering from any abuse. Both children appeared healthy, well cared for and seem to live in a loving environment.” (Embassy Visits documents)
On September 17, 2007 I received another letter from the US Embassy asking for another welfare visit requested by Mr Bobo. This time I did not take the children out of school and waited until a school holiday in order to meet with the Embassy staff. The meeting took place on October 24th 2007. The children were found to be talkative and polite. “ Jake and Halle appear to be happy, well adjusted children. They do not appear to be suffering any abuse and clearly have a loving relationship with each other and with their mother and stepfather.” (Embassy Visits document)
October 2008 I received a phone call from a Social worker wanting to speak to me at my home. I met her there along with my husband Markos and daughter Halle. Sarah Atkinson, Social Worker and Jo Skoltock, Police officer were invited in and they said that they'd received a letter from Mr Bobo outlining a very abusive situation in the home. They had just come from interviewing My son Jake at his school and wanted to speak to us and Halle. I had no problem with any questions they wanted to ask. They interviewed my husband and I and they also interviewed Halle. In their report they said that they “found no evidence to suggest that the children were suffering harm and therefore will be taking no further action” In the interview they questioned why Mr Bobo would wait 3 years to report such horrible accusations. We filled in the gaps. (Social Services document)
December 2008 Christmas gifts arrived at our home for the children from their father and not through the US Embassy as reported. Any and all postings have been to our home. (UPS Airbills document)
March 6, 2009 A letter arrived from the US Embassy stating that Mr Bobo was requesting yet another welfare visit. The meeting took place on March 23rd 2009. Awaiting documentation from the Embassy about the visit. (Embassy Visits Document)
We have cooperated fully with any and all investigations here in the UK and copies of these reports have been sent to Mr Bobo. Still he continues to harass with allegations of this type. Many times he has been informed that his allegations are false but refuses to accept the truth. And as much as Mr Bobo wants his allegations to be true, they are not! And the Embassy staff have not visited every 6 months as reported by Mr Bobo.
INFORMATION WE DIDN'T KNOW
While we had no communication from Mr Bobo for quite some time, we were alerted by the Police Officer that Mr Bobo had obtained a custody order from the Clark County Court and that there was a bench warrant for my arrest issued from the Clark County Court. Both of which are not valid in the UK and would have to go through the UK court in order to be acted upon.
MR BOBO GOES TO COURT
Since we had no knowledge of these things we had a private investigator copy the file at the courthouse. The package contained documentation where Mr Bobo had been to court 4 times without our knowledge.(not 10 as stated in the interview ) I was amazed that Clark County Court could just suspend due process at will and proceed with a court case where the other party named knew nothing about it.
In these documents we discovered:
That he'd been to Court in April 2006 and had his child support put in escrow because we could go on the run with the children using his child support to fund it. We didn't know why the child support stopped and frankly we didn't have the time or the money to find out. (Documentation Available) And yes we couldn't have gone far on £150.00 pounds a week!
Mr Bobo then proceeded to go to court in order to get a custody order. A temporary custody order was issued on May 8th 2006 and another one on June 6th 2006. (Documentation Available) until we appeared before the court. (we can't appear before the court because we don't have valid US passports) Mr Bobo made sure of that in October 2005 when he refused to sign the children's passport renewal forms. So therefore we would never be able to appear in Clark County Court and could NOT have appeared in any of those court dates because of expired passports. Jurisdiction according to the Hague convention lies within the UK, so appearing in Clark County Court was not an option, even if it was, we still were prevented from going because of the passport issue brought about my Mr Bobo. Not appearing in court is what gave MR Bobo the custody order! NOTHING ELSE! (documentation available)
In December 2006 the child support money in Escrow had been turned over to Mr Bobo in order to travel to the UK with the FBI to take custody of the children. Even I know that this scenario could never have happened because of the Hague Convention and having to go through the UK court. Surely the FBI knew that the scenario couldn't have happened but still the Clark County Court turned over $5,882.00 (money supposed to be going for the support of his two children) to him for that purpose. (Release of Escrow) And Mr Bobo was supposed to turn over an accounting of that money according to that court document. This was done in 2006 and I ask you, what has Mr Bobo done with that money?
Also, Mr Bobo has been claiming Jake and Halle as dependents on his income taxes for years even though he has not financially supported them since early 2006 and the children do not live with him thus giving him a tax deduction he is not even entitled to.
In your interview Mr Bobo stated that his Hague Convention application had been unsuccessful. In order to be unsuccessful the application would have had to have been heard in a UK court and Mr Bobo would have had legal representation at that hearing as would I. I have never received a summons to appear in the UK court for a Hague Convention application. I don't think the UK court can act as a law unto itself like other courts in the US, so I am confident that Mr Bobo's application is just that, an application, that has never been acted upon. (explanation of the Hague Convention and the Children's Act)
Mr Bobo mentioned that there might be a restraining order against him in the UK, This information would be extremely easy for the State Department and the US Embassy to check into, it is just another excuse Mr Bobo is using for not coming to the UK in order to sort this situation out. It seems that he is holding out for us to come to the US which won't happen because of expired US passports. Completely of his doing.
In conclusion, the children made up their minds years ago that they did not want to be forced to go back into that volatile situation and be involved in their father's drama. By their own admission, they don't want to have any kind of relationship with their father. In the meantime, my husband and I have endured having our characters publicly defamed and the safety of our children compromised. Many times Mr Bobo has been informed that his allegations are false by the American Embassy and Social Services (Documentation Available) and every time he refuses to accept it. It's as if he WANTS it to be true. For years, he has been informed as to procedures of how to get some sort of resolution to this and he ignores it, choosing to put his children's faces on Missing Children's Web sites and claiming that his children have been abducted. He has chosen to further defame my character by lifting my photo off an Internet networking site profile, presenting it to missing children's web sites, and labelling me as a child abductor, creating a tale of fictional proportions about abducted children in order to get sympathy and glory for himself. If that wasn't enough, he then he appears on TV in order to gain even more attention for himself (because that's all it can actually achieve) instead of coming to the UK and sorting this issue out. Sadly, these issues may be passed fixing because the more Mr Bobo does the more it strengthens his children's resolve as to their father's character or lack of it. Plane and simple, what little trust the children had in their father has been completely eroded (by his actions alone) and is most likely beyond repair.
His achievements to date are: That he has managed to alienate his own children. He has stopped paying child support. And because of the bench warrant and passport issues he has been able to prevent us from travelling to our own country in order to visit my ageing parents, other family members and friends.
Mr Bobo has hurt too many people in an effort to shift the focus off of himself for a simple child support issue dated November 2004 and if he wants anyone to blame for this situation, it would have been a lot less traumatic for the children and everyone involved if he'd have just looked in a mirror.
Mr Bobo may have wrongly concluded that I would never know about this interview or the reports to the missing children's web sites because of living in the UK (legally) but fortunately I still have very loyal friends and family who alert me to these sort of things. If you want to report the other side of the story, I am available for comment. I will show you any and all documentation requested.