By ROB LOW
SNOWMASS, Colo. - A Colorado dad has been reunited with his two daughters nearly five years after his ex-wife took them to Argentina against a judge's order.
Dennis Burns and his daughters, 8-year-old Victoria and 6-year-old Sophia, are back in Snowmass after a turbulent international custody battle. Burns was even attacked at the Buenos Aires airport by his ex-wife's brother, who tried to put Burns in a chokehold, as Customs Agents were escorting Burns and his daughters to their plane back to America.
FOX31 Denver first shared Burns' story in November 2014 when the Argentine Supreme Court sided with Burns in his custody battle with ex-wife Ana Allinelia. She took the girls to her native Argentina in September 2010, ignoring a court order that gave Burns primary custody.
Even though Argentina is a member of The Hague Convention, an international custody treaty meant to return kidnapped children to their home country, the legal battle waged on for years.
Allinelia flew back to Colorado with Dennis Burns and their daughters. She's now living in the Snowmass area, where she's allowed supervised visits and two phone calls a day with the girls.
"I think the girls right now are very confused and I think in time they are going to see that having a mother and a father in their lives is the most important thing," said Burns. Burns and his ex-wife are due back in a Garfield County Courtroom next week, where a judge is expected to further define parenting duties, though Burns is expected to maintain primary custody.