If you have seen this morning's news including the NBC Today Show, U.K. socialite Sandra Boss and now left-behind victim parent is shown in a taped video begging for the return of her daughter. Her former husband Clark Rockefeller kidnapped her daughter from Boston, Massachusetts. Boss is a Senior Partner with McKinsey & Co. and had sole custody of her daughter in the UK and provided custody access (I hate the word visitation) in the United States to her former spouse. The daughter was abducted during that time. Rockefeller was the main caregiver for the child prior to the divorce.
Sandra Boss is not the first high-profile executive to be involved in a family abduction. In the late '90s, Ellen Dever went underground with her daughter and her former spouse the left-behind parent was a very wealthy businessman. He offered a $1 million reward. That father even allowed his picture to be printed on Time Magazine. That case was also controversial because photo journalist Allan Detrich took pictures of Ellen Dever going underground during the kidnapping. The children were later found by a private detective in Switzerland and returned to the father but only after he filed a lawsuit against Faye Yager. There are some who believe that Yager took some of that reward money.
In 1994, when Holly Ann Collins abducted her children, we did not see the type of media coverage that the Sandra Boss case is getting. For any left-behind parent, it is a horrbile nightmere to be put in the position of having to find their kidnapped children. Especially with the limited resources available to them. In these cases, here are some of their options:
1. Television Media - Back in 1994, it was every parent's dream to get their case covered on Adam Walsh's America's Most Wanted TV show. For many of these parent's it's a very long wait, often years. The Boss case will be featured on the next show, I imagine the Holly Ann Collins case was not covered.
2. ADVO Direct Mail Cards - You've seen these post cards in your mail, they are sent to 120 million households in the United States. I imagine the Collins children may have appeared on these cards but they were in Europe.
3. FBI - Sometimes it takes months to get the FBI to enter a family abduction case because you must prove the abducting parent left the state or the country. Unfortunately, it's not a top priority and I imagine the Boss case will get more attention then the Collins case did. There are also times when the FBI can put pressure on the local law enforcement of the other country to deport the parent, which has not yet been case with Holly Ann Collins in the Netherlands.
4. Amber System - It's a new system and it helps get the word out quickly in all missing kids cases.
5. Local Law Enforcment - When children are taken internationally, it makes it very difficult for most of these agencies. They just don't have the resources and usually it helps when task forces are formed with the local district attorney's office, FBI and local police department.
6. U.S. State Department - They may be helpful in obtaining information on a passport for an abucted child and for a safety health and welfare check.
7. Private Detectives - If parents have the economic means, they can use private detectives and attorneys to subpoena phone records, credit cards and obtain information from family members and relatives. In the majority of cases the immediate family members have knowledge and somtimes can be pressured legally and through litigation to divulge information. That said, many left-behind parents spend thousands to hundreds of thousands of dolllars on private detectives with limited results.
For Holly Ann Collin's left-behind custoidal and victim parent and for Sandra Boss, it is a parent's worst nighmere to be put in this position. That's why I've keep saying:
"Holly Ann Collins, it's time to Mom Up"
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