Missing boy, father reunited after 9 years

Mother accused of stealing boy from custodial father, fleeing to Greece
with him

By VALERIE GRACE
City Editor

COSHOCTON – A father and son are together again after nearly a decade
apart, and the boy’s mother was sitting in a Coshocton jail cell
Wednesday after her extradition from Greece, sheriff’s deputies said.

Paula Jean Kavoossi, 43, faces charges of interfering with child custody.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, she
and her 12-year-old son, Bijanjon, have been on the run since Sept. 20,
1996, when she took the boy from his custodial parent, Cyrus Kavoossi.

Paula and Bijanjon Kavoossi were located in Greece and returned to the
United States on March 17, according to Deputy Garrison Bryant of the
Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arriving in New York City,
Bijanjon was reunited with his father. Paula Kavoossi was scheduled to be
returned to Coshocton Wednesday night.

On March 24, 2000, Cyrus Kavoossi contacted the sheriff’s office to file
a missing juvenile report. He had court documentation that he had custody
of Bijanjon and the last time he had seen him in person was September
1996, when the boy was 2 years old.

Cyrus and Paula Kavoossi had lived in Coshocton, so the child custody
case was handled here. The couple had later moved out of the county -
Paula to Cambridge and Cyrus to Indiana. Since the custody case was filed
in Coshocton, Cyrus had to file a missing juvenile report with the local
sheriff’s office, which he did on March 24, 2000.

After filing the report, a grand jury indicted Paula Kavoossi on May 22,
2000, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“We contacted Missing and Exploited Children and they actually issued a
photograph of Paula” and an enhanced photo of Bijanjon, said Bryant, who
initiated the case. “Those were issued all over the nation, most of them
were placed in Wal-Marts.”

The exposure of the photographs resulted in “hundreds and hundreds of
tips on the case from all over the nation,” Bryant said. “At one point
she was tracked in South Carolina and Texas, and there was a really good
tip that she was in New York City.”

A tip in 2000 revealed that Paula had relatives in Greece and that she
could have been living there.

The sheriff’s office worked with U.S. Marshal Service and the State
Department’s Office of Children’s Issues to facilitate the return of the
boy.

“I’ve been here 12 years and I can’t think of any case that our office
has handled where a parent had abducted their child and left the
country,” Bryant said. “The good thing is … the child is back in the
United States, and from what I’ve heard through the U.S. Marshal Service,
he seems to be in good health, which is a good thing.”

Bryant had contact with Cyrus on numerous occasions throughout the years
but said most of the father’s contact had been with Missing and Exploited
Children.

“Since this case has went this long, without having any contact or any
concrete leads, I was concerned that it would never get solved,” Bryant
said. “When we found out she was in Greece I was concerned we wouldn’t be
able to get the child back here.”

Having the warrant served and the boy back with his father gives Bryant
“great satisfaction.”

A date for Paula Kavoossi to appear in Coshocton County Common Pleas
Court had not been set as of Wednesday.

Copyright ©2006 Central Ohio

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