Posted: Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 – 04:52:00 am HST
Mom faces charges in California, Hawaii
By Paul C. Curtis – The Garden Island
A boy believed to have been abducted by his mother in Lihue near the end
of 2003 has been reunited with his father in California, after the mother
was arrested there on charges of custodial interference, officials said.
According to Kauai Police Department Detective Eric Shibuya, Rhianna
Powers, her boyfriend, and Jacob Goldschmidt, 7, were all taken into
custody last week near the Oregon-California border.
Goldschmidt’s father, Kauai resident David Goldschmidt, has flown to
California and been reunited with his son, who was apparently taken by
the mother in a childcustody dispute, according to David Goldschmidt’s
Kauai attorney, Caren Dennemeyer.
Dennemeyer refrained from further comment until she could speak to her
client, she said yesterday. “One parent got fed up with the (state
custodial) system, took the kid and disappeared,” Shibuya said.
California Highway Patrol officers, acting on a tip from neighbors in
Hornbrook, Calif., recovered Jacob Goldschmidt and arrested his mother
last Thursday. The boy was found in good health, according to a
California Highway Patrol spokesperson.
Powers was expected to appear before a magistrate in California, and KPD
officials are seeking to extradite her back to Kaua’i to face the
custodial-interference charges, Shibuya said. The boyfriend of Powers is
wanted in Arizona to answer other charges, Shibuya said.
There is a warrant for the arrest of Powers here, for custodial
interference, in the apparent parental-abduction case, he added.
A break in the 15-month-old case came after KPD investigators put photos
of and information on the boy and mother on a national crime information
center Web site, Shibuya said. The younger Goldschmidt was also featured
on cards distributed by officials with the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children, U.S. Postal Service and ADVO, Inc.
After Jacob Goldschmidt’s photograph was featured on a “Have You Seen
Me?” card mailed to 107 million homes, officials with the state’s Missing
Child Center-Hawaii, KPD and National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children received dozens of calls from members of the public who believed
they had seen the child.
Since the program was launched 19 years ago, one of every six children
featured on the cards have been safely recovered, according to Charlene
Takeno, coordinator of the Missing Child Center-Hawaii.
The Missing Child Center-Hawaii is under the state Department of the
Attorney General. Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett credited
interagency cooperation for the success of the Missing Child
Center-Hawaii in this case. “It is clear that our united efforts produce
visible results in these cases,” Bennett said.
“It’s a relief that the story has a happy ending,” Shibuya said.
Officials at the Missing Child Center-Hawaii always recommend an
immediate call to 911 when a child is abducted, followed by a call to the
Missing Child Center-Hawaii toll-free at 274-3141, then dialing 6-1449#
after the recorded message. The after-hours hotline is 1-808-753-9797, a
number provided as a public service by leaders of Verizon Wireless.
Coincidentally, Lt. Gov. James K. “Duke” Aiona Jr. and others today
unveil a statewide child-abduction response plan. Assistant Chief Fred
DeBusca of the KPD is expected to participate in the news conference to
announce the establishment of the Maile Amber Alert system, named for
Maile Gilbert, a 6-year-old murder victim.