Mother accused of taking kids from Kansas to Russia indicted
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A woman accused of fleeing Kansas and taking her children to Russia amid a divorce has been charged with international parental kidnapping.
Federal prosecutors said a grand jury on Wednesday indicted 37-year-old Bogdana Alexandrovna Mobley. She was arrested last month in Wichita, but investigators believe her three children remain in Russia. Her attorney, Kurt Kerns, didn’t immediately return a phone message Thursday from The Associated Press.
Mobley, who is in federal custody, emigrated to the U.S. around 2003 and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. She is accused of leaving the U.S. in April 2014 with one child from her first marriage and another child from a second marriage. Mobley gave birth to a third child about two months after returning to Russia, the criminal complaint says.
Weeks before departing, her second husband had filed for divorce and was granted joint custody. Mobley obtained a divorce through the Russian court system in July 2014. That December, a Kansas judge also granted the couple a divorce and ordered her to return the two youngest children. The Kansas judge awarded sole custody to her ex-husband because Mobley had left the U.S. without court approval or his consent or knowledge, in violation of their custody agreement.
But over the past three years, he’s never seen either child in person, the complaint says. That’s even though he flew in January 2015, to Gdansk, Poland, to meet with Mobley and the children. The complaint says the ex-husband met Mobley at the border of Russia and Poland but that she showed up without the children. For several days, he sought assistance from authorities to visit the children, but was unsuccessful, the complaint says.
Mobley allowed him to talk to the children on the phone and on Skype until last November, when she said he needed to send money to communicate with them. She moved around the same time and has refused to provide her new address. The ex-husband said she also denied U.S. officials a welfare visit with the children, the complaint says.
The complaint doesn’t say why she returned to the U.S. this year. It also makes no mention of whether her first husband had sought contact with the oldest child.