A German couple goes into hiding in South America. Two children from previous relationships disappear with him. The parents who stayed behind search desperately. But now there is good news for them.
The month-long search for the two German girls in South America has come to a successful end. According to lawyers, the German emigrant couple who were wanted in Paraguay for child abduction turned themselves in to the police on Thursday. “Now everything is fine. The search is over. The escape is over,” said a letter from the lawyer Stephan Schultheiss in Paraguay. “Now everyone is happy.”
The couple appeared voluntarily before the police and the public prosecutor’s office and handed over the children. The ten and eleven-year-old girls are now in the care of the Paraguayan authorities.
Arrest warrant from Interpol against German couple
The Paraguayan police published pictures of the refugees with officials and the lawyer. The newspaper “ABC Color” quoted the police commissioner Mario Vallejos as saying: “The desired goal has been achieved.” Apparently the girls are fine. “But we will still subject them to a medical examination.”
The father of one girl and the mother of the other girl are married to each other in their second marriage and emigrated to Paraguay with their two children in November last year without the consent of their respective ex-partners. According to the Paraguayan public prosecutor’s office, the couple had an arrest warrant issued by the international police agency Interpol.
Lawyer: Insight after intensive discussions lasting for days
Schultheiss told the German Press Agency on Thursday that he met the wanted couple and girls at an undisclosed location. According to “ABC Color”, the meeting took place in the border area with Argentina. In the coming hours, the girls should come to the capital Asunción, the Paraguayan newspaper reported.
In a statement from Schultheiss and his Düsseldorf lawyer colleague Ingo Bott, who represent the parents who are looking for their children, there is talk of negotiations over the past few days. After there had been no contact for more than half a year and no sign of life from the fugitives and the children, the wanted persons had contacted them last Friday via a messenger service. “In many discussions, the realization matured that ending the flight is the only option – especially for the well-being of the child,” the lawyers continued.
Paraguay: Couple and children are transferred to Germany
According to the lawyers, there had recently been “fruitful talks”. The mother of one girl and the father of the other girl, who come from Essen and Munich, could have phoned their children. Now we shall see each other again soon. The lawyers assume that the children and the wanted couple will be transferred to Germany after the investigations in Paraguay have been completed.
The mother of the ten-year-old girl, who lives in the Ruhr area, asked for help in finding her missing child in an emotional press conference on site. “I’m a desperate mother,” she said in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion. “Have a heart for our girls and help us find them.”
According to the searching mother, the fugitive couple left a farewell letter when they left in November 2021. In it they wrote that there was no future for the girls in Germany and that they did not want to have them vaccinated against the corona virus. A few days ago, the fugitives published a video message. “We are now being searched for around the world, like criminals, like murderers, like criminals,” says the man in it. The woman adds: “We just wanted to protect our children. We just want our children to be fine and now you want to separate us.”