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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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sjm337161753 February 06 2014 at 10:03 AM

It's very sad that the mother's choice to abscond with their children, separated the father from his three children for so many years. Hopefully he will be able to reestablish some kind of relationship with all of them. Good luck to the family

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kaplsh February 06 2014 at 8:27 AM

Beautiful story! The Dad must be so happy!!

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Debbie February 06 2014 at 2:53 AM

Glad they were reunited. Welcome home Nathan.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Helen Duncil February 06 2014 at 11:33 AM

I hope they do well and I hope the other children can be with there father again soon. God speed

Flag Reply +5 rate up
ExplorerFl February 06 2014 at 7:17 AM

Bet if it was the dad who ran off to Mexico, they would have had him in chains long ago.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
Owen February 06 2014 at 7:20 AM


Flag Reply +3 rate up
ptolomeyr February 06 2014 at 8:29 AM

fab ending thrilled

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Laura February 06 2014 at 8:30 AM

The mother should be brought back to the US and be prosecuted just like any other kidnapper would be. Yes, they were her children too, but she selfishly deprived their father the chance to have a relationship with his own children. The children suffer without a father and the father never got the chance to be there when his kids were growing up. Not only did she break the law but she emotionally hurt her children and their father. They can never get back the lost years where he was deprived of being their father. So selfish of her.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
4 replies
Shelly February 06 2014 at 8:31 AM

What is scary, is that you can never give up if a child goes misssing.....

Flag Reply +4 rate up
wecwpm February 06 2014 at 8:45 AM

How sad, children taken from dear parents that want them.......When
some parents do not even care. God Bless you dad. Enjoy your son.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
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