Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

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Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:24 pm

Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Andrew Knapp

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 4:51 p.m., Updated: Thursday, November 21, 2013 7:19 p.m.



Savanna Catherine Todd in a handout photo from the time of her disappearance in 1994.

Nearly two decades ago, Dorothy Lee Barnett left her Isle of Palms home with her infant daughter, flew oversees and started a new life, according to federal authorities.

Barnett didn’t have custody of Savanna Catherine Todd in 1994, when she was accused of abducting
the 10-month-old.

She married a man in South Africa, moved to New Zealand and, five years ago, wound up in Australia, according to The Australian newspaper.

But her ex-husband, former Charleston stockbroker Benjamin Harris Todd III, and his loved ones clung to a hope that they would see his girl again. Todd had parted ways with Barnett before Savanna’s birth and had been awarded custody of the unborn child.

~Snipped~

Barnett, a flight attendant, and Todd got married in December 1991 in Beaufort.

She filed for divorce in February 1993, alleging in court documents that Todd had left her because he was angry about her being pregnant. Todd countered, saying Barnett physically and emotionally abused him.

That month, Todd was given temporary custody of his unborn daughter. Savanna was born May 6, 1993.

Read more:

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20131121/PC16/131129866


Last edited by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:39 pm

SC Child Taken 20 Years Ago Safe in Australia

CHARLESTON, S.C. November 22, 2013 (AP)



A woman accused of abducting her infant daughter from South Carolina 20 years ago has been located in Australia and is facing extradition back to the United States to face charges, federal authorities announced this week.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said that an indictment had been unsealed charging Dorothy Lee Barnett, 53, with international parental kidnapping and making a false statement on a passport application.

Her daughter, Savanna Catherine Todd, now 20, was in Australia living a normal life, Nettles said.

~Snipped~

Court papers show that an arrest warrant was issued for Barnett in 1994.

Barnett has been denied bond pending extradition back to the United States, where no court date has been set, Nettles said. If convicted on all charges, she could face more than 20 years in prison, and court papers listed no attorney for her.

Read more:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/sc-child-20-years-ago-safe-australia-20982692
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:50 pm

American girl kidnapped by her mother 19 years ago found in AUSTRALIA

Savanna Harris Todd was 11-months-old when she disappeared along with her mother Dorothy Lee Barnett after she lost a custody battle with her father in 1994

By Steve Robson | 23 Nov 2013 11:27


Then and now: Savanna Harris Todd disappeared as a baby - she has now been found aged 20

An American girl kidnapped by her mother when she was 11-months-old has been found  living in Australia almost two decades later.

Savana Harris Todd disappeared from her home in South Carolina in 1994 and has not been seen by her US family since.

Her mother Dorothy Lee Barnett had lost a custody battle over the child with her father Benjamin Harris Todd.

According to reports, Barnett fled the US to South Africa using a fake passport, where she married a man called Juan Geldenhuys and later gave birth to a son who is now 17.

She changed her name to Alexandria Maria Geldenhuys and twice attempted to get a US passport, it is alleged.

Barnett and her new husband then moved to New Zealand, where they became citizens, and later Australia.

Read more:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/savanna-harris-todd-american-girl-2841614
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:29 am

'She would go eight days without sleep and bang her head against a wall for hours': Details emerge about American mom who abducted baby daughter 19 years ago before finally being captured in Australia

. Savanna Harris Todd was allegedly kidnapped by her mom, Dorothy Lee Barnett, in 1994 when she was 11-months-old

. Now mother and daughter have been located in Queensland, Australia, after almost two decades of living under several aliases in South Africa and New Zealand

. Barnett is facing a string of federal charges and is expected to be extradited to the U.S.

. In-depth details have emerged about the situation Barnett was in before fleeing, including her violent mood swings and erratic behavior towards ex-husband Benjamin Harris Todd


By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

PUBLISHED:17:30 EST, 23 November 2013| UPDATED:00:10 EST, 24 November 2013


  
Dorothy Lee Barnett (pictured left in the early 1990s and right in an artists impression of her today) lost custody of her daughter Savanna to her ex-husband Benjamin Harris Todd because tests showed her to be bi-polar. Barnett and Savanna disappeared from South Carolina in 1994 but have now been found in Australia following almost 20 years on the run. Barnett has been charged and faces extradition to the U.S.

Dorothy Lee Barnett disappeared with her 11-month-old baby from South Carolina in 1994, only to be located and arrested in Australia this month after almost 20 years on the run.

As her extradition back to the U.S. to face kidnapping charges appears inevitable, information has emerged about the situation the troubled mother was in before she hatched a plan to flee the country.

According to Benjamin Harris Todd - Barnett's ex-husband and the father of Savanna Harris Todd, who has been living in Queensland, Australia, under the name Samantha Geldenhuys - he took Barnett to court before the birth of their baby because of her worrying behavior.

~Snipped~

Barnett's lawyer, Mendell Rivers, said Barnett's 'tragic lack of self-control' in the court room lead the judge to believe the accusations were true.

In court she claimed Todd was evil and suspected he was homosexual.

But the stress of the trial and the stress of being a mother was 'too much for her to handle', Rivers said.

Todd was granted sole custody, with Barnett to have two supervised weekend visits a month.

~Snipped~

According to The Australian, Savanna - who has been studying nursing at a Queensland university - held up a sign during the hearing saying 'We love you Mom'.

Barnett, who 'winked' back at her daughter, was supported by over two dozen people, some of whom had sworn affidavits attesting to her good character.

~Snipped~

Outside court this week, Savanna- Samantha - would not comment when approached by reporters.

But in an affidavit tendered to the court, Savanna described Barnett as 'an amazing woman, having raised both myself and my brother and always giving us the support we needed to become the people that we are'.

Read more:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2512523/New-details-emerge-mother-abducted-baby-daughter-19-years-ago.html
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:31 am

Court papers say Savanna's father was the one who lead authorities to find his ex-wife.

An Australian friend of Mr Geldenhuys, Barnett's second husband, had grown suspicious of her.

He heard Barnett call her daughter Savanna and she had previously spoken about escaping an abusive relationship.

A simple internet search provided old photos of Barnett as wanted in relation to the disappearance of Savanna, and the Australian man was able to contact Benjamin Harris Todd.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2512523/New-details-emerge-mother-abducted-baby-daughter-19-years-ago.html
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:48 am





Savanna Catherine Todd
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:57 am

Stolen girl: Mum ‘amazing woman’

Posted by: Admin in Top Story | 21 hours ago

Samantha Catherine Todd (white shirt) leaving Maroochydore Court after her mother Dorothy Barnett was refused bail. Picture: Glenn Barnes Source: CourierMail

AN American woman found in Australia is facing extradition back to the US for taking her infant daughter from the Isle of Palms 20 years ago.

US Attorney Bill Nettles said an indictment had been unsealed charging Dorothy Lee Barnett, 53, with international parental kidnapping and making a false statement on a passport application.

Barnett did not have custody of her then 10-month-old daughter Savanna Catherine Todd, who is also known as Samantha, when she left in 1994, Nettles said.

At the time, police said Barnett – who in 1993 filed for divorce from her husband, former Charleston stockbroker Benjamin Harris Todd III – left for a birthday party with her daughter and never returned.

Read more:

http://oneherald.com.au/stolen-girl-mum-amazing-woman/
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:41 pm

Abducted daughter refuses to see father

Adam Shand and Sarah Elks • The Australian • November 26, 201312:00AM



A 20-YEAR-OLD US citizen abducted by her mother nearly two decades ago is refusing to see her father after the pair were tracked down by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police this month.

Savanna Todd, who has been living on Queensland's Sunshine Coast since 2007 under the alias Samantha Geldenhuys, is standing by her 53-year-old mother Dorothy Lee Barnett, The Australian has learnt.

~Snipped~

Ms Todd, a first-year nursing student at Townsville's James Cook University, intends to write to her father to explain her reluctance to meet him while he is backing legal action to separate her from her mother.

In an affidavit to the court, Ms Todd said she had suffered from severe clinical depression for many years and her mother had supported her "both emotionally and financially". "My mother is an amazing woman, having raised both myself and my brother and always giving us all of the support we needed to become the people that we are," she wrote.

Read more:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/abducted-daughter-refuses-to-see-father/story-e6frg6nf-1226768199041
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:57 pm

Missing for 20 years: Savanna Todd's life as Samantha Geldenhuys

November 26, 2013 - 12:01AM

Kim Stephens
Journalist


For the past six years, an unassuming home in a quiet pocket of Sunshine Coast suburbia has concealed the answer to a two-decade long, international mystery.

Samantha Geldenhuys was 14 when she moved with her mother, stepfather and half brother to the modest corner home at Mountain Creek, west of Mooloolaba, in 2007.

Half a world away, unbeknown to Samantha, a US millionaire continued to hold vigil for his infant daughter who vanished with his estranged wife in 1994.

~Snipped~

Mr Todd, a stockbroker, and Ms Barnett, a flight attendant, married in 1991, but the marriage quickly crumbled.

Ms Barnett filed for divorce before Savanna was born in May 1993 and a bitter divorce and custody court battle followed.

Mr Todd's longtime lawyer Graham Sturgis said a judge awarded his client full custody of the infant Savanna when Ms Bennett was diagnosed with "a variant of bipolar disorder"

Read more:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/missing-for-20-years-savanna-todds-life-as-samantha-geldenhuys-20131125-2y6ac.html
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:07 pm

Benjamin Harris Todd's 20-year search for missing daughter

November 25, 2013 - 1:07PM

Peter Mitchell

Los Angeles: When his 10-month-old baby daughter vanished in 1994, Benjamin Harris Todd III was devastated, but never gave up hope of finding her.

As the years went painfully by, he updated her bedroom in his South Carolina home.

~Snipped~

"For years, he would change her room to be more age appropriate so when he found her, it would be waiting for her," Mr Todd's longtime lawyer, Graham Sturgis, told AAP on Sunday.

Savannah Harris Todd was taken when she was10 months old. Photo: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

"That rips your heart out."

~Snipped~

Mr Sturgis said Ms Bennett, who had been diagnosed with "a variant of bipolar disorder", increasingly became agitated during the two-week hearing and a court deputy stood directly behind her seat.

"She was having a hard time remaining in her seat," Mr Sturgis said.

The judge awarded Mr Todd full custody of Savanna and Ms Barnett was allowed to visit her daughter every second weekend, but after her first visit she refused to return her daughter.

Contempt-of-court proceedings took place, but Ms Barnett was not stripped of visitation rights and just weeks later, in April 1994, Ms Barnett and Savanna disappeared during a supervised visit

Read more:

http://www.smh.com.au/world/benjamin-harris-todds-20year-search-for-missing-daughter-20131125-2y59p.html
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by CuriousPortlander on Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:52 am


Dorothy Lee Barnett jailed for kidnapping daughter

February 13, 2015

A former Sunshine Coast woman who sparked a two decade international mystery when she kidnapped her baby daughter has been sentenced to 21 months in jail.

...Ms Barnett was taken into custody and extradited to South Carolina in September last year.

This week, after pleading guilty to international parental kidnapping and two counts of falsifying passports in a South Carolina court, she was sentenced to 21 months in jail, to be followed by two years of supervised release.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/dorothy-lee-barnett-jailed-for-kidnapping-daughter-20150212-13dkoe.html

-----

Moving thread from Developing Stories to Closed.

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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:30 pm



Sneak peek: Dear Savanna

November 12, 2015, 1:59 PM | She eluded the FBI for two decades, but she couldn't outrun her past. In a first-ever interview, a mom speaks out to "48 Hours" about taking her child abroad. [Program note: This show will air at a later date]

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/preview-dear-savanna/

(The show was supposed to air tonight but instead 48 Hours will be covering the Paris attacks live in an special program. Stay tuned.)
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Re: Savanna Harris Todd - Missing from Isle of Palms since 1994, girl found safe; mother arrested in Australia

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:50 am



Dear Savanna

December 5, 2015, 10:07 PM | For two decades the FBI couldn't catch a mother and her child on the run. She speaks out for the first time to "48 Hours" correspondent Maureen Maher.

Related videos:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/dear-savanna/
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