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Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

Father accused of fleeing country with kids

April 12, 2007

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— Three missing children have been reunited with their mother after they were found in Honduras with their father.

"This is definitely a miracle," said Heather Mondello-Hundley. "I'm ecstatic that my children are back safely."

The youngsters - two girls and a boy, ages 4, 2 and 10 months - had been missing since their father, Joel C. Hundley, left with them Feb. 19.

Hundley was arrested last week at a road check in Honduras. He initially was taken to Miami and has waived a hearing to decide whether he should be returned to the U.S. District Court in Kansas City to face charges of parental kidnapping.

According to a federal court document released Tuesday, Hundley sent an e-mail to a family member a few days after leaving the United States stating that he "took off with the kids" and was living in a small town in El Salvador. The e-mail also said that if his wife tried to "pursue us, we will only go further into hiding and she will not see the kids."

Mondello-Hundley, who filed for divorce in February, said she thought her husband might have made a "poor decision" when various family problems were mounting.

The federal kidnapping charge carries a penalty of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Similar charges also were filed at the state level in Jackson County Circuit Court.

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