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FBI Enters Greek Custody Case

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mhtera hpa“My name is Alissa Zagaris and I am a Noblesville mother hopefully nearing the end of her international child abduction nightmare. I have spent the past 19 months fighting to get my now 12 year old Indiana born American Hoosier son back home.

My ex-husband Nikos Zagaris, unlawfully retained our son Leonidas (Leo) Zagaris, in Greece after his scheduled summer visitation in August 2011. In February 2012 the Hamilton County courts (the only court with jurisdiction regarding Leo’s custody and care) put out an order for the immediate return of my child. Nikos Zagaris disregarded this order.

In September of 2012 the courts in Greece (under the Hague civil process) ordered that Leo be returned to his country of origin, the United States of America. Nikos Zagaris again disregarded this. Instead he continued to hold Leo in Greece and appeal the ruling. In January 2013 the appeals court in Greece denied the appeal and reordered Leo be returned to the United States of America. Nick Zagaris again disregarded this and still continues to hold Leo Zagaris in Greece.”

This is the beginning of the note posted by Alissa Zagaris on the respective Facebook page making the public aware of her son’s abduction by his Greek father. According to her, she could have never imagined she would never see her son again after taking him to the airport in June 2011. Leo was going to Greece to spend his summer vacations there with his father, which he had done before. Nick Zagaris however, never returned the boy to his ex-wife despite the fact she mother holds the boy’s custody and care.

The mother has ever since been in a legal fight to get her child back. Her ex-husband is currently considered a criminal in the United States with a ban by Homeland Security issued in 2008. The international kidnapping case is expected to deteriorate and complicate further after information leaked about the father’s intention of moving with his son to Dubai.

According to Alissa Zagaris, she has cooperated with the FBI, the Greek Embassy and Ministry of Justice to help her get her son back but the paperwork and low pace of the State Department have become a barrier to fully protect her child. Yesterday Leo’s father sent an email to the Indiana FBI asking for the charges against him to be dropped as they are false. The mother hopes to be able to travel to Greece within the following weeks and see her lost son again.

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