A father’s worst nightmare came true when his ex-wife abducted their youngest daughter and refused to return her, despite court orders. Growing more desperate, the father decided there was only one option — to hire special forces.
In 2011, Craig Michael, a British man who had emigrated to Cyprus, learned that his ex-wife would be returning to her native Poland. Michael offered to watch over their two daughters, Castalia and Crystal, but his ex-wife told him she wanted to take the girls, reports the Daily Mail.
His ex-wife suddenly disappeared with the younger daughter, Crystal, only 15 months old at the time. According to Michael, his wife also tried to take Castalia a few days later when she was at school, but her teachers refused to let the child go, the Daily Mail reports.
Sent into a panic, Michael sought the Hague Convention’s help. After his case finally came to court a year later in 2012, the court issued an order to the ex-wife that she return the daughter, Express reports.
Michael’s ex-wife failed to return Crystal, even after a second court order. Years passed and Crystal remained apart from her father and older sister. Desperate to get his daughter back, Michael went to Adam Whittington of Child Abduction Recovery International for help.
With the aid of Whittington, a former special forces operative, they located Crystal at her grandparents’ house in Poland. After months of planning, in 2014, Michael and Whittington snatched the child from the house and brought her back to Cyprus, according to the Daily Mail.
While hiring special forces seems extreme, Whittington explains that there are plenty of cases just like Michael’s.
“Parental child abduction is at epidemic proportions,” Whittington explained, according to Express. “It is crazily out of control. Most of our clients come to us, as Craig did, after they have done everything legally possible. They hit a brick wall. It leaves absolutely no choice to parents.”
Even though it required years of work, Michael was elated on his daughter’s return. He now looks forward to his future with both of his daughters.
“I haven’t seen Crystal walk, talk or learn anything because she was so young when she was abducted, so I have a lot to catch up on. I am looking forward to that,” the father said, reports Express.