Dutch Court Mulls Removing Sailor Girl From Home

Dekker's father may lose custody
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2009 5:00 AM CST
Dutch Court Mulls Removing Sailor Girl From Home
Laura Dekker arrives to board a flight back to the Netherlands at the Princess Juliana International Airport on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten    (AP Photo/Gromyko Wilson)

(Newser) – Runaway teen sailor Laura Dekker has returned home to a custody battle in the Netherlands. Child welfare authorities have asked a court to remove the 14-year-old from her father's custody and place her either with her mother or in foster care, Reuters reports. Dekker was reported missing last week after flying alone to a Caribbean island.

A lawyer for Dekker's father complained that the panel of judges deciding the custody case may be biased because they are the same judges that barred the girl from embarking on a round-the-world solo sailing trip this year. Dekker ran away because she was depressed by the emotional pressure of her situation and media scrutiny, the lawyer says. (Read more Laura Dekker stories.)

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