Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing  (Read 13909 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JonathanR

  • Guest
My sincere apologies if this case has been touched on here in the forums and I missed it. Family is now discussing it with local TV.

Admins feel free to rechannel this elsewhere if it's already being discussed.


Missing in Mexico: 10 years looking for Jessica
http://www.ktnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=12072507
Posted: Mar 02, 2010 6:27 PM EST

You've recently seen all over national news, David Goldman and his son Sean reunited in New Jersey, years after the boy's mother abducted him to Brazil.

Well in Las Vegas there is a strikingly similar case, but without the happy ending as of yet.

Mark Harrison has been looking for his daughter, Jessica for a decade. Her location, Mark believes to be across US borders.

With still no results, the Harrison family recently turned to Action News to investigate.

Most of Jessica's belongings remain untouched for 10 years, except by a layer of dust. That's because Jessica Harrison is no longer a toddler, but that's how her family remembers her because that was the last time they saw her.

"I'm consumed by it. I can't seem to let go," Jessica's grandmother, Lydia Harrison, tells Action News.

"I miss my daughter," Jessica's father, Mark Harrison, tells us through tears.

Despite the lingering pain of losing a child, Mark and Lydia believe they will see Jessica again.

"We will never give up looking for Jessica," Mark says emphatically.

Jessica Harrison is a missing child. But she wasn't abducted by a stranger, authorities say her mother took her.

It all began in may of 2000. Mark Harrison and his former wife Martha Ruiz Harrison were granted joint custody of Jessica under a unique ruling. She would spend two months with Mark in Las Vegas, then 2 months with her mother in Puebla, Mexico.

When Jessica left the US with Martha, she never returned.

"I knew that it would be the last time that I saw my daughter," Mark says.

So Mark went to court and his ex-wife was an obvious no-show. Mark was then granted sole custody.

The Attorney General's office issued a warrant for Martha Ruiz Harrison's arrest, enlisting the help of the FBI. But still there was no sign of Jessica.

"We've exhausted just about every channel short of doing something illegal and I don't want to do that," Mark tells us.

Mark says he even went to Mexico to this home of his ex-wife's family. He says while there he was surrounded by Mexican agents with machine guns and escorted away. A missionary with the Nevada Center for Missing Loved Ones also went to the house, taking this picture of a girl in a red jacket he says could be Jessica.

Mark and his mother are convinced the picture is of Jessica and that she is at that address, but the Attorney General's office says they're not so sure.

"The assumption is that it wasn't a viable lead because we would have Jessica home," Michelle Chase, an investigator with the Missing Children's Unit of the Attorney General's Office says.

She says they get hundreds of leads a day on missing children's cases, but few actually pan out.

"When you hear nothing in these cases, it's usually because that lead is no good," Chase says.  

Chase also says because this is an international case, all they can do is pass their leads on to federal agencies and that has been frustrating for the Harrison family.

"What is the hold up in bringing Jessica back? What's the bottom line here?" Action News anchor Nina Radetich asks. "I can't tell you that because once it becomes international it's really the FBI and Interpol and the state department that really have the legs in Mexico," Chase says.

Mark still holds on to the memories of his daughter.

"I love rhythm and I love drums so we would just, Jessica and and I would dance. Daddy and this little girl," he recalls.

"She'd play my drums," Mark remembers peacefully.

He's doing his best to move on, but Grandma Harrison can't.

"I will write every congressman every single week if I have to over and over and over and over again," Lydia insists.  

Together, they keep the faith that one day Jessica will come home.

"Do you have a lot of hope that she's going to come back?" Action News anchor Nina Radetich asks Lydia.

"I will never, never let that diminish," Lydia says, "Because then, I'm empty."

 The Harrison's also filed the paperwork ...to invoke the Hague Convention.

That's an international agreement amongst 76 countries to work together to return children abducted across borders.

Even though Mexico is part of the Hague, Jessica has still not been returned. The FBI says they couldn't comment on the case since it's still open, but said they continue to follow any leads on Jessica's whereabouts.

Lydia has heard back words of sympathy and encouragement from some politicians, but no action.

The state department in Washington, DC did tell her in a letter last month they went down to meet with the Mexican cartel army to talk about quote, "numerous" outstanding cases like the Harrison's.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 07:57:19 AM by M.Capestro »

Offline SageDad

  • Father of Sage
  • Left Behind Parent
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • HagueAbductions.com
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 09:47:10 AM »
Thanks for posting this story.  I posted about this case in the "Other Abductions to Mexico" thread here:

http://bringseanhome.org/forums/index.php/topic,2019.msg45801.html#msg45801

a while back but it's good to see an update on the story.  I left a comment on the article telling them to come here and support HR 3240 but it's still awaiting moderation.  I was pleased to see there were no ignorant bigots posting comments on the article (or they were moderated) saying something like "Good, two down and two million more Mexicans to send back to Mexico..."

There are so many cases like this one where children in Mexico are not located.  Without a doubt this is a product of Mexico not dedicating enough resources to finding children and the pervasive corruption of the few low level officers that are actually engaged on any level.  Not that it helps all that much if children are found in Mexico.  The judicial process of using the Hague Convention is broken anyway.. and even if after years you win a final and "enforceable" return order the kidnappers just go back into hiding and we go back to the problem of locating children in Mexico.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

JonathanR

  • Guest
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 01:35:49 PM »
Carlos, do you think/know if Mexico harbours more abducted children than the other countries? I do indeed see how it would be even harder to find them there as well. Mexico City alone has a population of, what, 21+ million?

Offline SageDad

  • Father of Sage
  • Left Behind Parent
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • HagueAbductions.com
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 02:51:17 PM »
Mexico has more abducted American children than almost every other country combined.  Abductions there have been a huge unacknowledged issue for a very long time.  Mexico's gotten a pass during every Congressional hearing on International Child Abduction and Saudi apologists even criticised the US for going after Saudi Arabia on the issue when there were "much bigger offender's out there."  Even during the hearing before the Tom Lantos Commision last December Mexico was only mentioned once (David Goldman cited it as one of the worst non-compliant countries.)  They had two parents from Japan, one from Austria, one from Brazil and none from Mexico testify.  Part of the reason that Mexico never gets brought up is because the US government shares a lot of the blame for the high rate of abductions to Mexico by not having any exit controls at the US and Mexican border.  There are a lot of US business interests that benefit from the flow of cheap labor and "goods" in both directions across an unsecure US and Mexican border.  Hillary and Obama have both been to Mexico in the last year along with a host of other Congressman and Senator's.  Child abduction is never on the agenda for their visits.  Our two economies are tightly intertwined.  I think that many view abductions to Mexico as something of a Pandora's box since the security of our border and exit controls start to touch many other hot button issues like immigration, the war on drugs, NAFTA and the economy.  Personally I think these fears are unfounded and that we can address the issue of abductions to Mexico without needing to fix all the other problems at the same time.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 02:52:49 PM by carlos »
“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

JonathanR

  • Guest
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 05:23:26 PM »
Why then is Mexico brushed over? Is it this attitude that we'll never find the kidnapped children THERE?!!!!

Offline shrogg38

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Jessica & daddy on Halloween 1999
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2010, 10:15:08 AM »
Hello to everyone!

Although, this can also be a factor in other cases - with regards to our case, the "Special Investigator" at the Attorney General's Office stated in our ABC Ch 13 VIDEO, that we didn't have a "viable" lead or Jessica might have been home.  Lest she forgot that I haven't had any / communication / collaboration / update / interaction / no emails / no phone contact / absolutely ZIP from her in approximately 3-4 yrs.!   UNTIL the very morning of her scheduled ABC interview did I receive (2) emails asking me for an "update", etc. Then the second email asking me for pictures and anything I could enlighten her with.  So, how could she say on the ABC VIDEO that we didn't have a "viable" lead when she herself only had our input for about an hour or more just prior to her interview?  - and here I was hurrying and I was scurrying to be helpful to her, to only learn later that she uttered such a remark without substance on the video!  (emails are listed with date & time & can't be altered)

O.K., now I feel just a little bit better for revealing the exact circumstances. No coverups please!
Lydia  (Jessica's "nana") - I am Jessica's voice .....

"I remember how my daddy loved me. I finally found my daddy. I just brought flowers to his grave. Will I forgive my mother for what she did to us? In the meantime, it's her time to look for a missing loved one. She'll find me when I'm ready"

Offline M.Capestro

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2247
  • Twitter: @Capestro
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2010, 12:34:30 PM »
OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR HARRY REID
http://www.lasvegastribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=675:open-letter-to-senator-harry-reid&catid=51:letters-to-the-editor&Itemid=117
Written by Special to the Las Vegas Tribune

Thursday, 25 March 2010 17:51

Senator Harry Reid
Lloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV  89101

Dear Senator Reid:

My granddaughter, Jessica Harrison, was kidnapped to Puebla, Mexico nine years ago!

I have written you, Senator Reid, at least "umpteen" times throughout all those years, but you and your staff never reply, except for two replies in the very early years.  You did say in one of your letters to "please keep me apprised."  Oh, I've apprised you so many times and nothing - absolutely no interest – is shown for our precious Jessica.  Jessica was born right here in Las Vegas, Nevada.  We are Nevada constituents!

Senator Reid, please help us...

In the news just a few weeks ago, Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey demonstrated much more than a reply.

Congressman Smith actually flew back to Brazil with David Goldman (Sean Goldman's father), and Senator Lautenberg made sure to "WITHHOLD U.S. FOREIGN AID TO BRAZIL" in the amount of $2.75 BILLION DOLLARS... Hmm, suddenly Sean was allowed to return home to New Jersey with his father and Congressman Smith accompanied them.  Sean returned to his country where he was born and abducted from. We are asking you, our senator, to interact with MEXICO for us - to show some interest for a young little girl kidnapped in 2000 - to act as a concerned political figure - to pull some strings - to extend your political posture - TO HELP US!

The U.S. is so kind to Mexico.  The U.S. has heart!  The U.S. allows the Mexican people to educate themselves, to work and receive benefits should they so require.  The U.S. provides medical care, etc. etc. etc.

This may sound like bribery, but what about a "sweetheart deal" with Mexico?  Why not jump right in and help a constituent? Jessica and the rest of our family are constituents!

My pain and sarcasm are showing, but I'm not apologizing.  I'm a grandmother, a "nana" to three wonderful grandchildren and I miss our Jessica so much!

Our case was in The Las Vegas Review-Journal and also The Las Vegas Sun (Sandy Thompson, Reporter).  Family Court Judge Dianne Steel so ordered Jessica, 4 years old, to live in TWO COUNTRIES AT A TIME.  She ordered a 4-year-old to rotate living in one country for two months at a time and then return to the other country for two months at a time - back and forth and back and forth and back and forth!!!!  The court appointed a Child Advocate who told the court "absolutely no" and he stated that this kind of living arrangement would be unhealthy for any child.

My son was devastated....he knew instantly that this might be the last time he would see his daughter.  He was right!  They disconnected their phone number in Mexico right after a week or so.  The very first rotation went south.  A young child named Jessica was separated from her Daddy,  her grandparents, her cousins, her playmates, her country.  The news spread and I was even recognized at the Post Office.  We wrote to Judge Steel remembering the words she spoke to the mother, the abductor.  "WHEN YOU'RE BACK IN MEXICO, DON'T TRY AND FOOL AROUND WITH MY JURISDICTION."

Is Judge Steel kidding?  She has no jurisdiction in Mexico or any other country outside the U.S. - and what did she later say in court?  "MY EXPERIMENT FAILED!!!!!   YOUR EXPERIMENT FAILED? OUR JESSICA IS A  CHILD, NOT AN "EXPERIMENT"!!!

Now that I've rambled on and on and explained how our family is feeling, what must our Jessica think happened to her family? Where must she think we are?

I have letters from Presidente Vicente Fox, letters from Presidente  Felipe Calderon, letters from our State Dept., with one letter thanking me for my letter to President Barack Obama.  I have letters and letters from all over the world, BUT I don't have anything from you.  Where are you, Senator Reid?

Why invoke "The Hague Treaty"?  Why have signers to "The Hague Treaty" if no one enforces this treaty?

Oh yes, something else. Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Chris Smith worked so hard and they were successful and BRAZIL ISN'T EVEN A PARTY TO "THE HAGUE."  The Hague Treaty doesn't even apply there!

Our case number at The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is: CASE #936747

Again, hoping to hear from you, Senator Reid.

Sincerely upset,

Lydia Harrison (Jessica's "nana")
Mark Harrison (Jessica's daddy)
Las Vegas, NV  89108  

Offline shrogg38

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Jessica & daddy on Halloween 1999
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2010, 01:10:14 PM »
Thank you M. Capestro for posting my "Open Letter to Senator Harry Reid".  Seeing my letter & reading it again & now posted, somehow brings about further inspiration.
Lydia  (Jessica's "nana") - I am Jessica's voice .....

"I remember how my daddy loved me. I finally found my daddy. I just brought flowers to his grave. Will I forgive my mother for what she did to us? In the meantime, it's her time to look for a missing loved one. She'll find me when I'm ready"

Offline LDJVR

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 214
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2010, 03:50:44 PM »
My heart is broken for you Lydia. I will be praying for you.

Offline shrogg38

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Jessica & daddy on Halloween 1999
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2010, 10:04:32 PM »
Thank you for your compassion and we really appreciate your prayers.  It's so nice to receive your thoughts. Reading your post helps restore some faith in humanity for me!
Lydia  (Jessica's "nana") - I am Jessica's voice .....

"I remember how my daddy loved me. I finally found my daddy. I just brought flowers to his grave. Will I forgive my mother for what she did to us? In the meantime, it's her time to look for a missing loved one. She'll find me when I'm ready"

Offline shrogg38

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Jessica & daddy on Halloween 1999
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2010, 11:50:49 AM »
4/7/2010   -   Las Vegas Tribune - Part Three

U.S. SENATORS AND THE MEXICAN CONSUL IGNORE THE FATE OF AMERICAN CITIZEN JESSICA HARRISON

http://www.lasvegastribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=697:us-senators-and-the-mexican-consul-ignore-the-fate-of-american-citizen-jessica-harrison&caid=124:localnews&Item=244
Lydia  (Jessica's "nana") - I am Jessica's voice .....

"I remember how my daddy loved me. I finally found my daddy. I just brought flowers to his grave. Will I forgive my mother for what she did to us? In the meantime, it's her time to look for a missing loved one. She'll find me when I'm ready"

Offline shrogg38

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Jessica & daddy on Halloween 1999
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2010, 09:44:14 PM »
OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR HARRY REID
http://www.lasvegastribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=675:open-letter-to-senator-harry-reid&catid=51:letters-to-the-editor&Itemid=117
Written by Special to the Las Vegas Tribune

Thursday, 25 March 2010 17:51

Senator Harry Reid
Lloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV  89101

Dear Senator Reid:

My granddaughter, Jessica Harrison, was kidnapped to Puebla, Mexico nine years ago!

I have written you, Senator Reid, at least "umpteen" times throughout all those years, but you and your staff never reply, except for two replies in the very early years.  You did say in one of your letters to "please keep me apprised."  Oh, I've apprised you so many times and nothing - absolutely no interest – is shown for our precious Jessica.  Jessica was born right here in Las Vegas, Nevada.  We are Nevada constituents!

Senator Reid, please help us...

In the news just a few weeks ago, Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey demonstrated much more than a reply.

Congressman Smith actually flew back to Brazil with David Goldman (Sean Goldman's father), and Senator Lautenberg made sure to "WITHHOLD U.S. FOREIGN AID TO BRAZIL" in the amount of $2.75 BILLION DOLLARS... Hmm, suddenly Sean was allowed to return home to New Jersey with his father and Congressman Smith accompanied them.  Sean returned to his country where he was born and abducted from. We are asking you, our senator, to interact with MEXICO for us - to show some interest for a young little girl kidnapped in 2000 - to act as a concerned political figure - to pull some strings - to extend your political posture - TO HELP US!

The U.S. is so kind to Mexico.  The U.S. has heart!  The U.S. allows the Mexican people to educate themselves, to work and receive benefits should they so require.  The U.S. provides medical care, etc. etc. etc.

This may sound like bribery, but what about a "sweetheart deal" with Mexico?  Why not jump right in and help a constituent? Jessica and the rest of our family are constituents!

My pain and sarcasm are showing, but I'm not apologizing.  I'm a grandmother, a "nana" to three wonderful grandchildren and I miss our Jessica so much!

Our case was in The Las Vegas Review-Journal and also The Las Vegas Sun (Sandy Thompson, Reporter).  Family Court Judge Dianne Steel so ordered Jessica, 4 years old, to live in TWO COUNTRIES AT A TIME.  She ordered a 4-year-old to rotate living in one country for two months at a time and then return to the other country for two months at a time - back and forth and back and forth and back and forth!!!!  The court appointed a Child Advocate who told the court "absolutely no" and he stated that this kind of living arrangement would be unhealthy for any child.

My son was devastated....he knew instantly that this might be the last time he would see his daughter.  He was right!  They disconnected their phone number in Mexico right after a week or so.  The very first rotation went south.  A young child named Jessica was separated from her Daddy,  her grandparents, her cousins, her playmates, her country.  The news spread and I was even recognized at the Post Office.  We wrote to Judge Steel remembering the words she spoke to the mother, the abductor.  "WHEN YOU'RE BACK IN MEXICO, DON'T TRY AND FOOL AROUND WITH MY JURISDICTION."

Is Judge Steel kidding?  She has no jurisdiction in Mexico or any other country outside the U.S. - and what did she later say in court?  "MY EXPERIMENT FAILED!!!!!   YOUR EXPERIMENT FAILED? OUR JESSICA IS A  CHILD, NOT AN "EXPERIMENT"!!!

Now that I've rambled on and on and explained how our family is feeling, what must our Jessica think happened to her family? Where must she think we are?

I have letters from Presidente Vicente Fox, letters from Presidente  Felipe Calderon, letters from our State Dept., with one letter thanking me for my letter to President Barack Obama.  I have letters and letters from all over the world, BUT I don't have anything from you.  Where are you, Senator Reid?

Why invoke "The Hague Treaty"?  Why have signers to "The Hague Treaty" if no one enforces this treaty?

Oh yes, something else. Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Chris Smith worked so hard and they were successful and BRAZIL ISN'T EVEN A PARTY TO "THE HAGUE."  The Hague Treaty doesn't even apply there!

Our case number at The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is: CASE #936747

Again, hoping to hear from you, Senator Reid.

Sincerely upset,

Lydia Harrison (Jessica's "nana")
Mark Harrison (Jessica's daddy)
Las Vegas, NV  89108  
Lydia  (Jessica's "nana") - I am Jessica's voice .....

"I remember how my daddy loved me. I finally found my daddy. I just brought flowers to his grave. Will I forgive my mother for what she did to us? In the meantime, it's her time to look for a missing loved one. She'll find me when I'm ready"

Offline SageDad

  • Father of Sage
  • Left Behind Parent
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • HagueAbductions.com
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 11:31:10 PM »
I should point out that Brazil signed the Hague Convention somewhere around 2003.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

Offline shrogg38

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Jessica & daddy on Halloween 1999
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2010, 04:09:53 AM »
Carlos,

Thank you for the correction on Brazil.  Another country that ignored The Hague Treaty!
Lydia  (Jessica's "nana") - I am Jessica's voice .....

"I remember how my daddy loved me. I finally found my daddy. I just brought flowers to his grave. Will I forgive my mother for what she did to us? In the meantime, it's her time to look for a missing loved one. She'll find me when I'm ready"

Offline shrogg38

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Jessica & daddy on Halloween 1999
Re: Jessica Harrison, taken to Mexico >10 yrs ago...still missing
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2010, 02:19:53 PM »
Columnist Sandy Thompson: Unusual custody arrangement backfires
Sandy Thompson

Friday, April 5, 2002 | 2:56 a.m.

AN UNORTHODOX custody ruling that a then 4-year-old girl alternate living every other two months with her mother in Mexico and her father in Las Vegas has backfired.

Jessica Harrison, now 6, is being concealed in Mexico in contempt of a Family Court order, says her grandmother, Lydia Harrison. Lydia and her son, Mark Harrison, say they have not seen Jessica in nearly two years.

Because of the mother's failure to appear in court to answer why she did not turn over Jessica to Mark for visitation, Mark has been granted temporary sole legal and physical custody of Jessica. According to the order, he may obtain the assistance of any appropriate law enforcement agency "in any state or country" to obtain custody of Jessica.

That has been very difficult. Lydia says the family has spent thousands of dollars in efforts to have the girl returned to Las Vegas, but to no avail.

Despite the Hague Convention, an international agreement among some nations to honor each others' custody laws, it is a difficult and lengthy ordeal to obtain Mexican authorities' cooperation in cases of parents abducting their children and fleeing across the border.

Although a signatory nation to the Hague Convention, Mexico does not recognize some American laws. According to Brian Kunzi, senior deputy attorney general and director of the Nevada Missing Children's Clearinghouse, parental abduction is a felony in Nevada but Mexico does not consider it an extraditable offense.

Mexican officials are extremely difficult to work with. Kunzi's office has other unresolved cases -- some years-long -- that involve parents who kidnapped their children and are living in Mexico.

After the initial custody ruling, Lydia and Mark's greatest fear was that Martha would not return Jessica once she was with her relatives in Mexico.

Although they have a Family Court ruling granting them sole custody, Mark simply can't go to Mexico to pick up Jessica. "We were told it's very dangerous if we go there," Lydia says.

The Harrisons have filed a Metro Police report and are trying to go through other channels to bring the girl home. They had talked to Jessica on the phone after she left Las Vegas, but Martha or her family members hung up on them after a few minutes, upsetting Jessica, Lydia says. They have had no contact with the child for some time.

The original "two months here -- two months there" custody ruling was made in April 2000 by Judge Dianne Steel after an hours-long hearing. At the time, Steel was concerned that the child maintain a loving connection to both parents, who were divorced. The custody arrangement was to be a trial experiment, she said, until the girl was old enough to go to school. Then another arrangement was to be worked out.

At the time, Mark and Martha each had sought custody of Jessica. Mark contended that it was he who primarily cared for the girl during the marriage because Martha's epileptic seizures prevented her from properly caring for Jessica. Martha claimed Mark verbally abused her and had a violent temper. It is not known if this is why Martha is violating the custody order. During the court hearing, Steel said Martha's relatives gave conflicting testimony, and neither Martha nor Mark's claims were substantiated.

Mark was concerned about his daughter living in Mexico and wanted Martha to stay in the United States. Steel said Martha had "good-faith reasons" for returning to her native Mexico, but expressed her own concerns about it and whether it would benefit Jessica.

Most Family Court judges tend to grant out-of-state move requests. They cite recent Nevada Supreme Court decisions that support "not chaining mothers" to one area. In this case, the move was risky because it was to a country that does not honor American custody orders.

Steel said she wanted to ensure that Jessica have equal access to, and maintain loving relationships with, both parents. The reality, however, is that equal access means no access for a Las Vegas father and his daughter.

archive

Lydia  (Jessica's "nana") - I am Jessica's voice .....

"I remember how my daddy loved me. I finally found my daddy. I just brought flowers to his grave. Will I forgive my mother for what she did to us? In the meantime, it's her time to look for a missing loved one. She'll find me when I'm ready"