Isaac and Rebecca Savoie, children born of the marriage between Christopher Savoie and his now ex-wife, Norika, were kidnapped by their mother and hurried off to Japan last August. After the abduction, police issued an arrest warrant for Norika and court authorities gave sole custody of the children to Christopher.
In an effort to reclaim the children, Christopher went to Japan and picked up the two children up as they walked to school in the morning. Instead of heading to the airport, the proceeded to the closest U.S. Consulate, where Japanese authorities were waiting for them with a roadblock after being tipped-off by Norika. Though they managed to get to the gates of the consulate, they were refused entry.
From this article:
“So there was that first barricade — and then, once they got to the gate, the U.S. Consulate did not open the gate,” he recalled.
Like a scene from a movie, Higgins said, Isaac froze in the streets as his Dad raced toward the consulate with Rebecca in his arms.
Much like several high-profile international parental kidnapping cases in recent months, this one stands to play out on the world stage.
Things don’t look very good for Mr. Savoie as Japan is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on international child abduction. Further, there are no known cases where Japanese authorities have ever returned children, kidnapped by a parent, to the parent in the United States.
As an aside, Williamson County Judge Jim Martin ordered that Isaac and Rebecca’s passports be released to their mother so they could go “on vacation.” Christopher expressed fear over the repeated threats by Norika to take the children back to Japan and her unhappiness with life in the United States. Judge Jim Martin was unpersuaded, allegedly stating to Christopher that he “…needed to accept that life was full of risks…” Shame on Judge Jim Martin for giving Norika the tools and the opportunity to make this tragic event a reality for everyone involved.
For the full story, click here: Father Follows Abducted Children to Japan, Gets Arrested
Read here about questions surrounding Judge Jim Martin’s involvement in the case as he previously served as mediator on their divorce and custody agreement. Ethical questions abound regarding his stepping in to make a ruling on Christopher’s concerns about potential parental kidnapping: Dad Questions Judge’s Role In Child Abduction Case
Read more about parental abduction here: Parental Kidnapping (Child Abduction)