we DO bring them home . . .




The Story of MEW and JW

          In August 2004, Attorney Rachel Sibley, of Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, contacted PACRT. Attorney Sibley had heard about our operation and was working with a Twin Cities client, IW (mother of nine year old MEW and seven year old JW), whose children had been taken by their father, MW. During the course of the investigation, information was learned that MW could have been using the children in illegal activities across the Mexican border from Arizona and may have been frequently moving the children around from Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois and Mexico.

          After extensive investigation was exhausted, and location and recovery looked bleak, a tip call was received indicating that the children were in school in Tonopah, AZ. Quick action by Attorney Sibley and Attorney Camila Alarcon (Community Legal Services; Phoenix, AZ) verified that the children were in school in Tonopah, AZ, Minnesota Orders were quickly registered in Arizona, communication was established with the school and arrangements were made to retrieve the children.

          IW made extensive attempts to secure assistance with funding the travel arrangements for her and her children, but even after contacting other local and national non-profit child find organizations, and various other non-profit and church organizations, was unable to secure the funding. PACRT stepped forward and agreed to pay for all the airfares to and from Arizona, any other expenses that were necessary to get her children back, and provided Ed Wunsch to escort her on the trip to be sure everything went smoothly with the recovery and re-unification.

          On October 26, 2005 Ed and IW left Minneapolis at 7:00 a.m. After securing a vehicle and meeting volunteer Scott Bailey from Phoenix, the trek to Tonopah began. We arrived at the school at about 1:00 p.m. local time and were met by School Office Helper Jennifer Bell. Ms. Bell advised us that the principal and all other administrators were out of the school this date in a conference and were unavailable. She also explained that she had been advised by the principal that she was not allow us to remove the children without the assistance of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, Civil Division.

          Contact was made with Detective Paul Deitrick of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, Civil Division in Phoenix. Paper work was forwarded to him by facsimile, and a determination was made that in order to get the Sheriff’s Department involved a Warrant to Pick-up the Children had to be issued by the judge, which had not been done.

          After some time consulting back and forth with Attorneys Sibley and Patricia Madsen (Community Legal Services), a decision was made, that we would race back to Phoenix and make every attempt to get in front of a judge to get a Warrant to Pick-up the Children issued. With the outstanding work by the attorneys and staff at Community Legal Services in Phoenix, we were able to secure a signed Warrant to Pick-up the Children, but unfortunately it was after school had been left out in Tonopah. So, a decision was made that we would remain the night in Phoenix and proceed to the Sheriff’s Department as early as possible the following morning. With assistance of Volunteer Scott Bailey, Ed and IW were able to secure five star accommodations in Scottsdale, get a good dinner, and make an emergency run to a store for a change of clothes the following day.

          The next day, activities went much, much smoother. After a brief meeting with Attorney Alarcon, a meeting with Detective Deitrick, we were on our way to Tonopah. With the assistance of four detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, IW was re-united with her children after approximately two years of not seeing them.

          After a tearful reunion in the school office, a car ride back to Phoenix, a brief stop at a Fast Food Restaurant, we were all back in court in Maricopa County. The judge (Honorable Steven D. Sheldon) issued an order from the Bench allowing mom, the two children and Ed to return to Minnesota.

          Arrangements were made (again with the assistance of volunteer Scott Bailey) for all four to fly back to Minnesota that evening.

Just one more example of our dedication of our simple objective:


Special Thanks to:

Ed Wunsch
Robin Dietz-Mayfield
Kimberlie Nelson
Scott Bailey and Family
Private Investigator Richie Stone
Private Investigator Patricia Shaugnessy
Attorney Rachel Sibley
Attorney Patricia Madsen
Attorney Camila Alarcon
Many Unnamed Staff Members of Community Legal Services
Detective Paul Deitrick
Three Unnamed Detectives with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department
Board of Directors of Parental Abduction Child Recovery Team


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