We recently discussed the Liam McCarty international abduction case. According to Examiner.com columnist Barbara Thompson:
In 2007, Liam McCarty was kidnapped by his mother and taken out of the country in violation of a NY court order. After arriving in Italy, Italian officials determined that she was an unfit mother and placed the boy in an orphanage. For more than two years, Michael McCarty, who has sole legal and physical custody of young Liam, has fought to bring his son home.
In 2007, Michael McCarty and Manuela Antonelli were involved in a nasty custody battle over Liam in New York where the family resided.
Antonelli had made numerous allegations of abuse against McCarty but investigations by the NYPD, New York District Attorney’s Office, Children’s Services, and numerous court-appointed mental health professionals all found the accusations to be “unfounded,” “baseless,” and “false.”
Antonelli was diagnosed with severe personality disorders and was determined to be an unfit parent. Sole legal and physical custody was awarded to McCarty, an order was issued that Liam not be taken out of the United States, and a judicial finding of parental alienation was made against the mother.
On March 5, 2007, Manuela Antonelli picked her son up from kindergarten and fled the country in direct violation of the court orders. She returned with the boy to her native Italy where she continued to make accusations of abuse against McCarty.
Despite the fact that Michael McCarty has sole custody of the boy, Italian authorities–in defiance of the Hague Convention–have refused to reunite Liam with his father. Fox News did an excellent interview with Michael McCarty–to watch, click on A Father’s Tale: Dad Fights for Kidnapped Son (8/17/09).
As several readers have pointed out, the case has many close parallels to the highly-publicized Holly Collins case:
1) Michael McCarty had sole custody of Liam but Manuela Antonelli kidnapped him out of his kindergarten and took him to Italy. Mark Collins had sole custody of his two young children, Zachary and Jennifer, and Holly Collins kidnapped them and took them to Holland in 1994. (At the same time, Holly Collins also kidnapped the small child she had with a different father.)
2) Manuela Antonelli made numerous accusations against Michael McCarty, accusations which authorities concluded were “unfounded,” “baseless,” and “false.” Holly Collins made numerous accusations against Mark Collins which authorities found to be baseless. (Collins also has made accusations against a wide variety of other people, including her own mother and her stepfather, who she had previously praised in writing.)
3) Courts and investigating authorities concluded that Manuela Antonelli was trying to alienate her boy from his father. Similarly, courts and investigation authorities concluded that Holly Collins was trying to alienate her two young children, Zachary and Jennifer, from their father Mark.
4) Courts concluded that Manuela Antonelli had Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), wherein a parent invents, induces or exaggerates medical symptoms in a child. Hennepin County Family Court services found that Holly Collins suffers from multiple disorders, including Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. Whereas numerous investigating authorities found that the Collins children lived a healthy, normal life under Mark Collins’ care, Holly herself described the children’s medical condition while under her care as follows:
Both children are on home nebulazation therapy and extensive preventative as well as symptom-alleviating medicines. They also have injection syringes which must be kept on hand at all times. They also have been prescribed a home oxygen unit for the severity of the disease.
The children were removed from Holly Collins’ care largely because authorities concluded that they were in medical danger from Holly’s MSbP.
McCarty’s case is more hopeful than Collins’ in one respect–Italian authorities have at least removed the boy from his loony mom, whereas Holly Collins slipped through the cracks in the Dutch immigration system and was allowed to remain in Holland with her kidnapped children in her care.