Isabella Miller-Jenkins may be in El Salvador
June 3rd, 2010
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.