10 Years After Vanishing With Child, Mom Surfaces

Genevieve Kelley turns herself in; whereabouts of Mary Nunes unknown
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2014 8:31 AM CST
10 Years After Vanishing With Child, Mom Surfaces
This photo provided by the New Hampshire Department of Corrections shows Genevieve Kelley of Whitefield, NH, who was charged Nov. 17, 2014, with custodial interference.   (AP Photo/New Hampshire Department of Corrections)

In the midst of a bitter custody battle, Genevieve Kelley took her 8-year-old daughter and vanished in November 2004. Over the past decade, the US Marshals Service followed up on tips that had them looking for the New Hampshire woman—along with new husband Scott Kelley, daughter Mary Nunes, and two horses that also disappeared—in the US, Canada, and Central and South America (Kelley, a one-time flight surgeon with the Air Force, is fluent in Spanish). Then, in March of this year, Kelley made contact through her lawyer, who told the New Hampshire prosecutor that Kelley was prepared to face her charge of custodial interference. The 50-year-old turned herself in Monday. Says her lawyer per the AP, "She wants to be vindicated. She wants a trial."

Mary turned 18 in February, meaning she is no longer under the purview of family court. In 2009, the AP categorized the girl's vanishing as "the climax of a long, acrimonious tug of war." Kelley and Mark Nunes divorced in 1998, with Kelley retaining primary custody of the girl. The ensuing years were not exactly smooth, and in late 2003, Kelley told police that Nunes had sexually abused Mary; those allegations were determined to be unfounded. Roughly a month after the trio disappeared, Mark Nunes was awarded legal custody of the child. Mary's current location remains unknown, per CNN, though Kelley says she is safe. The Find Mary Nunes website has a phone number in the right rail of every page, along with this message: "Mary, here is a number so you can talk to your daddy. It is on 24 hours a day. We love you and miss you." (More missing child stories.)

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