December 10th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The American father of Katie Brooken Lukensmeyer Solano, who had been reported kidnapped by her mother says he had legal permission to have the girl during the time, and that the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) even had his phone number and could have contacted him at any time.
Dr. William Lukensmeyer, a 70-year-old retired psychiatrist from the United States, provided court records to Inside Costa Rica that would seem to back the father’s claim.
Dr. Lukensmeyer said the girl’s mother, Sandra Solano, was fully aware that he was to return his daughter on Friday, December 6th, after having picked the girl up on Friday, November 29th for a “Friday to Friday” visit as dictated by a court order.
The girl’s father also said his former partner was aware they were to visit the beach, and she had even packed a week’s worth of clothes for the girl. The girl’s mother told authorities that her father was to return her on Sunday, December 1st when she reported the alleged “kidnapping” of her daughter to the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ).
As the newspaper always does when official sources issue an alert of a child kidnapping, Inside Costa Rica reported the alleged kidnapping after the OIJ issued an alert and the agency notified local media outlets that it was seeking the public’s help in locating the girl.
Curiously, however, while the OIJ was seeking the public’s and the media’s assistance in locating the pair, the OIJ had Dr. Lukensmeyer’s telephone number on file, which also appears in court and legal documents. “The OIJ could have simply picked up the phone and called me,” Dr. Lukensmeyer said.
Instead, it seems, the OIJ launched a full kidnapping investigation and turned to the media for assistance.
According to Dr. Lukensmeyer, while he and his daughter were enjoying their scheduled Friday-to-Friday visit on the beach in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, the girl’s mother suddenly announced by telephone that she was going to pick up her daughter, and then later called authorities.
Dr. Lukensmeyer said he and his former partner have been before the courts numerous times over a period of four and a half years because of disputes over visitation and other issues. The father said the girl’s mother would routinely not comply with court-ordered visitation, at one point having not seen his daughter in an 11-month period.
Dr. Lukensmeyer also said his former partner had him jailed on false domestic abuse charges, taking the couple’s car, furniture, and money that was in a joint bank account, which she used to purchase her own home while he was jailed, which led to the couple’s separation.
Dr. Lukensmeyer said that the girl’s mother had obtained a series of five restraining orders against him in the past, four of which were later thrown out by the courts as baseless. The fifth was later thrown out when the mother failed to appear at a hearing to defend her claim.
“Her goal was to keep me from seeing my daughter,” Dr. Lukensmeyer said, adding that at one point he and his former partner even ended up in criminal court because the mother refused to comply with court ordered visitation.
Dr. Lukensmeyer describes the woman’s recent kidnapping charge as part of that same goal and pattern of behavior.
Dr. Lukensmeyer said that he called the OIJ himself on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 4th, after learning that authorities were searching for him and his daughter. Shortly after his phone call, authorities arrived at the hotel where the pair was staying and demanded that the girl and Dr. Lukensmeyer immediately return to San José in an OIJ vehicle.
According to Dr. Lukensmeyer, upon arrival at the OIJ offices in San José, agents threatened to arrest him if he did not immediately turn over his daughter to the girl’s mother, even though his court-ordered visitation was not to end for another 48 hours.
“They say if you don’t give me up and let me go with my mother they will put you in handcuffs and take you to jail,” Dr. Lukensmeyer’s daughter told her father, translating the words of an OIJ agent.
Threatened with jail, Dr. Lukensmeyer had no choice but to agree, he said. The OIJ then released him onto the street, where he caught a taxi home.
Dr. Lukensmeyer also dismissed the concern his former partner expressed to authorities that he may had “fled the country” with his daughter, saying neither he nor his daughter can travel. Dr. Lukensmeyer said the girl’s mother has refused to renew the girl’s passport since age 5, and that restrictions also exist on his passport due to child support.
Dr. Lukensmeyer must now defend himself against the charge levied by his former partner, but expressed his confidence that he would be cleared of any wrongdoing.