A Holland, Michigan woman was recently arrested in Colorado after leaving Michigan with her children in July. A recent WSBT Fox 17 story reported that the woman was taken into custody in Colorado Springs and her two children, ages 10 and 11, returned to the father, whom has primary custody. The children were unharmed.
The children were staying with the suspect for the summer, per a court order, and were to be returned to their father on July 26 at the Holland Department of Public Safety building for a custody exchange. When she never arrived, officers launched an investigation, suspecting that she had left the state with the children. They were last seen at the suspect’s and her current husband’s house the evening of July 26.
Her current husband said that his wife never intended to hurt the children and was concerned for their safety in the hands of their father. Holland Police substantiated the husband’s statement by adding that the suspect had made several unsubstantiated allegations over the years. The children’s father told Fox 17 News that he would never physically or mentally harm his children. The suspect was arrested and released on bond and is awaiting an August 30 court appearance. She faces charges of two counts of custodial interference, commonly referred to as parental kidnapping.
The suspect in this scenario violated a custody court order when she failed to appear for the custody exchange and left the state with her children. In Colorado, she would face a Class 5 felony charge of violation of custody order or order relating to parental responsibilities. Had she left the country with the children, she would face Class 4 felony charges for the same offense. She would be looking at a possible maximum sentence of three years for the Class 5 charge; six years for the Class 4. A criminal defense attorney may be able to build a solid defense for her if she could prove that her actions were warranted and in the best interest of her children’s welfare, which does not appear to be possible in this case.