Case Study | International Abduction | Germany/United States

Case Study | International Abduction | Germany/United States

Case Study | International Abduction | Germany/United States

Lauth investigators have invoked these protections under the Hague Convention several times in international abduction cases, and are well-versed in how its mandates protect children globally.

In a case of parental abduction, a mother and father were living in Germany. One afternoon, the mother went to pick up her children from school, only to realize their father had already picked the children up and had disappeared. She was deeply concerned the father had kidnapped her daughter and son and had taken them to the United States.

The Investigation

The mother immediately filed all the necessary reports with German authorities and contacted the FBI to alert them that her husband could possibly flee to the United States with her children.

With federal and international agencies working on her case, she had every confidence her children would soon be located and returned safely to her. However, after weeks of hearing no progress on the case, she turned to missing person expert, Thomas Lauth. Using proven methodology and verified databases, Lauth was able to build a background on the father that generated a few qualified leads. After pursuing these leads and additional fact-finding, Lauth successfully tracked the children to Charlotte, North Carolina. Once the children had been located, Lauth worked in tandem with federal authorities to invoke the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The Solution

The children were recovered and held in a neutral environment while court proceedings determined the circumstances and outcome of the case. The father claimed that the children had been exposed to discrimination in Germany, but the children were ultimately returned to their mother.