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Isabella Miller-Jenkins may be in El Salvador

Timothy Kincaid

June 3rd, 2010
Isabella Miller-Jenkins and Lisa Miller. Both are reported missing.

Isabella Miller-Jenkins and Lisa Miller. Both are reported missing.

The attorneys for Lisa Miller, who kidnapped daughter Isabella Miller-Jenkins and fled, will be back in court this month to argue that the judge erred in reassigning custody to Janet Jenkins, Isabella’s other mother. But this may be a difficult sell, considering that Lisa and Isabella have not been seen from since last September.

Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins were in a Civil Union living in Vermont when they decided to bring Isabella into the world. But after breaking up with Jenkins, Miller converted to conservative Christianity, decided that she was no longer a lesbian, and followed the encouragement of her fellow believers to deny Jenkins her parental rights.

Courts granted Jenkins visitation but for years Miller refused to comply and instead expressed in news media her contempt for the courts and her intention to ignore their rulings while her attorneys posted endless appeals. Eventually the US Supreme Court weighed in, upholding Jenkins’ rights and, after it was clear that Miller would never comply with visitation orders, full custody was granted to Jenkins.

But by then it was too late. Miller had disappeared with Isabella.

Her attorneys (Liberty Counsel), her church (the late Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church), Isabella’s school (affiliated with the church), and her supporters sat on her disappearance for as long as they could, providing the illusion that Lisa was still living in Virginia. It was not until December of last year that the charade fell apart and it became clear to Janet and the courts that Lisa had fled several months prior.

Now there is a report that Miller, a fugitive with an arrest warrant, may have fled to El Salvador to thwart the court in its efforts to provide for Isabella’s best interests in her custody dispute with Jenkins. (WaPo)

The girl, Isabella Miller-Jenkins, and her birth mother, Lisa Miller, failed to appear for a court-ordered custody swap in January and are believed to have flown to El Salvador last September, said attorney Sarah Star, who represents ex-partner Janet Jenkins.

Star said a Virginia police officer told her that Miller and the girl flew to El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, from Juarez, Mexico, which is across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

Miller has no known legitimate source of income and is not believed to speak Spanish. It is highly unlikely that Miller has pulled off this disappearing act without significant involvement, if not coordination, from members of the Thomas Road Baptist Church or perhaps other anti-gay activists. Considering that they all conspired to keep her disappearance unknown, it would be interesting to know if they were complicit in Isabella’s kidnapping.

The last known contact from Lisa was through Debbie Thurman, a ex-gay activist and church friend who had been administering Lisa’s website. Debbie posted a note from Lisa on December 4, 2009, about three months after Lisa disappeared.

However, while Miller has a rich, powerful, politically connected network on her side, Jenkins is not alone in her struggle to find her daughter and bring her home. Advocates for abducted children have joined the cause.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has turned its attention to Central America, distributing photos and information about Isabella to news outlets throughout the region, apparently believing she and her birth mother moved there, Star said Thursday.

Isabella, a pigtailed 4-foot-tall blonde, is listed on the Center’s website as a victim of a family abduction who may be in the company of Miller.

I very much hope that Isabella can be found and returned to her distraught mother and that Lisa Miller will be held responsible for her crimes.

Comments

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Timothy (TRiG)
June 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Debbie posted a note from Lisa on December 4, 2010

2009?

Lindoro Almaviva
June 3rd, 2010 | LINK

I have said it time and again, Debbie Thurman KNOWS what is going on and she and her entire network and the church. I will bet they know a lot more than they are leading on and they should be investigated as accomplices in the issue.

I do not know why this has not been done.

Lynn David
June 4th, 2010 | LINK

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h6V6-iNzPTi25qBIG81aomH1kWQgD9G40ML02

Back in court in Vermont.

Timothy Kincaid
June 4th, 2010 | LINK

TRiG,

Thanks, yes 2009.

Lindoro,

I don’t know that Debbie knows anything at all. But someone does.

Rob
June 4th, 2010 | LINK

Sounds like a job for Dog the Bounty Hunter.

it's me
July 1st, 2010 | LINK

Birth mothers should always trump anyone else, as long as said mothers are good parents.

Chris McCoy
July 1st, 2010 | LINK

it’s me said:

Birth mothers should always trump anyone else, as long as said mothers are good parents.

Kidnapping her own child and running away to a foreign country to evade law enforcement disqualifies Lisa Miller as a “good parent”.

Christine
August 7th, 2010 | LINK

Rena Lindevaldson gave a photo presentation on Lisa Miller and Isabella at their conference on homosexuality hosted by Liberty University’s Law School back in February of 2010 and didn’t even mention once that she was a fugitive. Probably all 30-40 people in the room knew that anyway. BTW, Debbie Thurman was in the audience at that conference.

It’s really hard for me to believe that key players in Liberty Counsel (Mat Staver was Miller’s attorney for a long time before others at LC rotated the job) know nothing about Miller’s whereabouts and had nothing to do with helping her. I hope someone in law enforcement is investigating.

The police officer who says Miller flew from Juarez to El Salvador – has this evidence been made available to the public – is it verified that this is true? Because Virginia is big enough and there are areas remote enough where Miller could be hiding (and there are certainly plenty of people in Virginia who think that Miller is doing the right thing by not complying with the law).

Sheri
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

It is wrong to take this child away from her mother who is the only biological parent and give her to someone who isn’t even related to her in any way. I hope that Lisa and Isabella are never found. The laws of Vermont should have never been applied in this case, since Virginia doesn’t recognize either civil unions or same sex marriage.

Priya Lynn
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

Sheri, Janet is as much a mother to Lisa as Miller is. The tragedy here is that a child has been abducted by a criminal and is forced to lead a life of deprivation constantly on the move.

Jason D
August 10th, 2010 | LINK

“It is wrong to take this child away from her mother who is the only biological parent and give her to someone who isn’t even related to her in any way.”

This is a lie. Jenkins is also her mother. You insult adoptive and foster parents by dismissing this key fact. Ignoring it doesn’t make you a better person, it makes you an evil one.

“The laws of Vermont should have never been applied in this case, since Virginia doesn’t recognize either civil unions or same sex marriage.”

You need to acquaint yourself with the constitution and the laws of our land.

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