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Slovakian woman arrested for child abduction

A Slovakian woman who was arrested on suspicion of abducting her children and taking them overseas was brought back to LA.
April 10, 2014 6:08:16 PM PDT
A Slovakian woman who was arrested on suspicion of abducting her children and taking them overseas against a court custody order was brought back to Los Angeles Thursday.

Maria Pfeifer, 32, a former Los Angeles resident, left Los Angeles International Airport in handcuffs on Thursday afternoon, ending her time on the run across several European countries with her two sons.

Fathers of 5-year-old Sasha Milo Hummel and 10-year-old Robert Gerald Pfeifer teamed up in the search for their boys. Both men had short marriages with Maria Pfiefer.

In June 2012, Maria Pfeifer was allowed to take the two half-brothers on a 10-day trip to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Father Larry Hummel said Pfeifer told him the kids were sick and needed to come back after another two weeks on July 13. They were originally scheduled to arrive home on July 1, he said.

"She gave us the new itinerary, the plane came in, she wasn't on it, and she went completely off the radar," Larry Hummel said.

Father Bob Pfeifer said the abduction has been "traumatic."

"You're searching for a needle in a haystack 6,000 miles away," Pfeifer said. "It's a parent's worst nightmare."

In August 2013, Los Angeles police obtained an arrest warrant. Pfeifer was charged with two felony counts of child detention with right to custody. She also faces federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Full custody was later granted to the fathers.

A tip received via social media earlier this year showed a video of Pfeifer and the boys dressed as girls at a resort in Slovakia. The tip led FBI investigators to France, where Pfeifer was arrested in December 2013.

The fathers reunited with their sons at an orphanage in France last December, and are now home in Southern California. Both have restraining orders against Pfeifer.

"It's very tricky, the situation with his mom," Hummel said. "I've always said that I believe Sasha should have a mother and a father in his life, but with that said, I'm terrified of re-abduction."


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