Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Father's Plea Inspires Hope and Questions

"I don't know what more to say than I love you I miss you and I want to see you," is how Walnut Creek (Calif.) father Michael Smith ends his YouTube plea to son Zachary and daughter Chelsea. The children were taken by their mother in 1997, when Smith began to press for full custody after being cleared of numerous abuse charges lodged by his (by then) ex-wife.

In Smith's telling, the FBI recently found his son and daughter, but they are both older than 18 and cannot be compelled to see their father ... and told Gmen they weren't interested in getting together for old time's sake. It is not clear from the seven minute plea to his children what happened to the mom or whether what she did was illegal. In fact, the seven minutes tell much, but leave even more unanswered about this father's story. He tells of the Christian he became in 1995 — the children were taken in 1997 — but there is no hint of what that meant to his wife. He also alludes to the pre-religious years of his life when he was "a bad man." He also mentions the marriage one year after his children went missing that suggests many questions.

Should his children accept the plea and get back in touch or the mom comes forward, a more complete picture of one dad's story will be filled.

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