Don’t kidnap kids in a custody dispute

Stuff reports:

Missing schoolboy Mike Zhao-Beckenridge was desperate to return to live with his stepfather, according to John Beckenridge’s closest friend.

“The boy kept ringing him up . . . [asking for Beckenridge] to come and pick me up,” said Roger Henricson, a Swedish airline pilot who has been friends with Beckenridge for 40 years.

Beckenridge was upset after he lost custody of Mike, 11, said Henricson. “He got quite down about it because he thought he was doing the right thing because, the little boy Mike, John has been a father to him for the last seven to eight years and he got quite attached to him.”

That may be the case, but that does not give him a right to kidnap the kid from his mother. It doesn’t matter what the 11 year old wants – they get input into the custody decision, but the adults have to deice to abide by it.

Mike and his stepfather have been missing for 23 days. The car in which they were believed to be travelling has been found in the sea at the bottom of an 88-metre cliff in the Catlins area. Police have been unable to ascertain whether there are bodies in the car, though divers indicated they could see none.

Hopefully they’ll be found.

After Beckenridge and his wife split up, Mike stayed with his stepfather. Mike’s mother indicated she was going to send the boy to China to live with his biological father or his grandparents.

If he has some parenting rights over Mike, then she can’t decide that unilaterally.

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