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Nathan Slinkard Returns Home 18 Years After Abduction



GREENFIELD, Ind. (AP) - Nathan Slinkard was 5 years old when his mother failed to return him to his father as an Indiana court had ordered.

On Tuesday, the 23-year-old man was back home with his father, about a week after he walked into the United States Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, and identified himself.

Nathan Slinkard arrived in Indianapolis last week, 18 years after he went missing, the Hancock County Sheriff's Department and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said Tuesday.

Slinkard, his brother, Andrew, and sister, Sydney, had been missing from Greenfield, a city about 20 miles east of Indianapolis, since October 1995, when authorities say their mother, Trena Slinkard, failed to return them despite a court order after their father filed a motion seeking full custody.

It wasn't immediately clear when the children were taken out of the United States, or under what circumstances Nathan Slinkard and the others separated. Sheriff's Department Lt. Ted Munden, the last local investigator in the case, said Nathan Slinkard hadn't divulged the others' locations but said they were safe and unconfined. Munden said Andrew and Sydney apparently know they are free to return to the U.S. if they desire.

Nathan Slinkard provided his Social Security card and birth certificate to consulate officials, who also used scars to confirm his identity. He asked to come home to the U.S., and the consulate gave him a temporary passport so he could.

Two investigators who had searched for the children over the years - Munden and Merideth Morrison of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - assisted in his return.

After a stop in Houston, Nathan Slinkard arrived in Indianapolis Jan. 29 and was greeted by his father, Steve Slinkard, and his aunt.

"He's staying with Dad right now," Munden said Tuesday. "He's a good kid, lots of ambitions."

Merideth could not be contacted Tuesday. Officials said the family has requested privacy.

Missing Boy Returns Home 18 Years After Abduction

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zygi & paris February 06 2014 at 2:48 PM

ABducted? He was taken by his mother who apparently took the children with her for a reason. He seems to be in good health, so he had a good life with her. This story smells.

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2 replies to zygi & paris's comment
Rich February 06 2014 at 4:01 PM

This is kidnapping. The mother should spend twenty years behind bars.

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eyedzervit February 06 2014 at 6:57 PM

You're unbelievable. What smells is a mother leaving the country with the children just so she can have them all to herself. You condone this? You're implying that she probably had a good reason to remove them from their father? And you know this how??? If he had such a good life with her why did he want to get back into the United States to see his father? Remember, he instigated the return by walking into the U.S. consulates office in Guadalajara. Did you miss that part? This is just one story of many where a parent thinks they can keep their kids for just themselves by leaving the country. The agreements our country has with other countries in these cases is that the other country will do what they can to extradite the children back to the U.S. but this country has been a lame duck in enforcing that. It's a growing problem. And to add to it is the attitude that people like you have.

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jsimancas February 06 2014 at 2:39 PM

why Nathan wait until he was 23? he should have left Mexico when he was 15 , but what happened , he could not find a job in Mexico he decided to come to Indiana to his father " I am here Dad " my mom handcuffed me until I was 22 and Half" I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS STORY

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1 reply to jsimancas's comment
tommy6424 February 06 2014 at 2:45 PM

Maybe the mother told him his dad was dead, and he just happened to find out he was alive..?

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clistman February 06 2014 at 2:32 PM

Look at the bright side at least you didnt have to pay child support for three children?

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clistman February 06 2014 at 2:26 PM

Im glad the dad finally got to see him but i hate when a title makes it appear they were taken by strangers instead of by a parent. Clearly he holds no ill will towards his Mom cause he wont give her or his brother and sister up.. Things like this happen when parents want to be greedy and cut out the other parent

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zygi & paris February 06 2014 at 2:48 PM

Exactly. They do that because sensationalism sells. It's misleading.

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addresses2me February 06 2014 at 2:25 PM

Glad this boy had the chance to finally reunite with his father, but as far as this being breaking news goes it is hardly earth shattering. If he had been found before he came of age then that would be a whole other story. But since he and the others are now adults themselves I think it is up to them to decide what charges should be brought forth if any. Could it be that the system is also at fault here?

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1 reply to addresses2me's comment
tommy6424 February 06 2014 at 2:32 PM

The father has rights.. you just can't take a guys children away for years and years. It should not be the kids who decide.. it should be the father as he likely has been hurt for those 18 years. The mother is the one who ran, so maybe he was or monster, or maybe she was affraid he might actually have a case for ful gardianship. In all cases... both parents have rights and you just can't kidnap your own kids.

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guiaprandi February 06 2014 at 2:02 PM

It is great and heartwarming to see a child reunited with his father, especially a son. God bless them.

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zannedon7 February 06 2014 at 1:57 PM

Only the parents know the true story of their breakup and her ultimate escape. They BOTH have a side.

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1 reply to zannedon7's comment
gov111w February 06 2014 at 2:08 PM

Anyone who would steal children from a spouse is TRASH ! The lowest of the low. I hope she suffers forever long for keeping their children from their father. PERIOD !!

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2 replies to gov111w's comment
clistman February 06 2014 at 2:27 PM

You mean the same way he was trying to get full custody when she took them?

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tommy6424 February 06 2014 at 2:35 PM

gov11 has a point.. ever think he might of wanted full custody because the mother was unfit.. in what world in any scenario, even if both parents are rotten people, are you allowed to keep children away from their other parent.

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randallpklp February 06 2014 at 1:40 PM

Hey I wonder if Obama will follow the Clinton example and treat this man as if he were Elian Gonzalez and take him back to Mexico against his will by use of government force.

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2 replies to randallpklp's comment
Tom February 06 2014 at 1:44 PM

You mean Elian Gonzalez parents were Americans? And, Elian Gonzalez was 23 years old? (That must be what you mean, because otherwise, there is no correlation between the 2 stories.)

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RacingIndy500 February 06 2014 at 2:03 PM

Two totally different circumstances. Elian is a Cuban citizen and was born in Cuba. Why do people like you write such ridiculous posts? Simplly because you can?

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yuhossmpc February 06 2014 at 1:28 PM

Sorry, but I think that since the other siblings are over 18, it should be their choice wether they want to go back to the U.S. or not. They have a mind of their own, after 18 years, I'm sure they can think for themselves. God Bless Them either way....

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Penny February 06 2014 at 1:26 PM

Are the other two children, "of age" also? If so, if they want to return to see their dad, fine, if not fine. Why does he have to tell where they are if they are all of age now?

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