Update 4/14/07 11:37AM
Joel Hundley was extradited from Honduras and appeared for an initial hearing in Miami on Monday, Herndon said.He was expected in Kansas City by midweek to face federal charges, including international parental kidnapping. The offense occurs whenever one custodial parent takes a child or children to another country without the consent of the other custodial parent, Herndon said.
The Complete Article Can Be Found Here
Update 4/6/07 5:35PM
Thanks to Gretchen for alerting me to the WONDERFUL news. The children have been found!
3 Missouri Kids Allegedly Snatched by Dad Are Found in Honduras; U.S. Seeking Extradition
The three children allegedly abducted by their father and taken out of the country were found this week in Honduras and are now back in the United States, family members told FOXNews.com on Friday.
U.S. officials are working on extraditing the father quickly — before he’s released by Honduran authorities — so he can be brought back to the U.S. to face federal kidnapping charges.
Joel Hundley of Kansas City, Mo., took his children — Alexandria, 1, Elijah, 2, and Julianna, 4 — from the family’s house in Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 19, and flew with them to El Salvador, FBI officials said. He then took them to Honduras, where he was found Tuesday in a mountainous region of the country a few hours away from Tegucigalpa, the country’s capital, Hundley’s sister Shelley told FOXNews.com
“When we got the kids, they were dirty, just dirt on their faces, their hair … I saw them and the oldest …she almost looked like a homeless kid, just filthy and dirty,” Shelley Hundley said. “But she just went right to me and hugged me … it was just a happy, partial reunification there but what they wanted was Mommy.”
The FBI led the hunt for the 34-year-old man — described by family members as “delusional” — who methodically planned and carried out a scheme to snatch his three young kids and smuggle them out of the country. Family members believe Hundley has been engaged in questionable sexual activities, and that they feared the children would become victims of a human trafficking or child prostitution ring.
Jeff Lanza, a spokesman for the FBI in Kansas City, confirmed to FOXNews.com that the children were back in the United States and were safe.
When the Hundley family got word that Joel was spotted in Honduras with the children, Shelley Hundley, along with Heather Hundley — Joel’s wife — and another sister decided she would fly down while the American Embassy, Interpol and Honduras nailed down her brother’s exact location.
“I just decided to go down and just be there,” Shelley said. “I didn’t really do much, I just headed down there and waited for the authorities to let me know what was going on.”
She got the call around 1 a.m. Tuesday, saying that her brother and the children had been found in a car and were being held at a small police outpost. She said the children were malnourished, dehydrated, and the oldest, Julianna, who has a kidney malformation and urinary-tract problems, was in a lot of pain.
“I walked right up to him, I just could not say a word to him and he did not say a word to me. It was actually weird in that sense that they both were totally silent,” Shelley Hundley said, describing the encounter with a brother she had feared would involve her nieces and nephews in deviant sexual activity and child prostitution.
While she would not elaborate on what was done to the children physically, Shelley said the children were receiving proper medical care back in the United States. Shelley, her sister and Heather are taking care of them.
“We’ll just be helping out as a team,” she said.
But the Hundley family’s ordeal is far from over.
Shelley said a Honduran judge has said he will release Joel from prison there on Saturday if the U.S. cannot finish the extradition process by then. Joel is only being held by Honduran authorities on an immigration charge, Shelley said. She and her family are worried that Joel will do more damage to himself — and maybe to others — if he’s not brought back to the U.S. to get help.
“Obviously we’re really worried because it’s a quick time frame for us to really get this all together and obviously a lot of it is political,” Shelley said. “If he walks, he wouldn’t be able to come back to the U.S. but he would be a danger, wherever he is.”
Lanza of the FBI could not confirm the timetable set by the Honduran judge for Joel Hundley’s release, but said the State Department is taking the lead in working on terms of his extradition and hopes to be able to pick him up “as soon as possible.”
“Our goal is to get him picked up by the FBI to bring him back to this country to face federal charges in Missouri,” Lanza said, adding that Hundley faces charges of international parental kidnapping once he’s back in the United States.
“We’re working to make it happen as soon as possible,” he said.
Joel Hundley’s scheme to abduct his own children culminated Feb. 19 when he told his wife, Heather, to go out and enjoy a day with friends or at a local spa. When she returned home later that day, she found the kids and Joel had vanished.
Shelley had said Joel has a history of reading sexually explicit material and participating in sexual chatrooms on the Internet. He also engaged in what she called “group sexual activity slime,” even taking at least one child to a group activity on an occasion. He also had a history of violence toward his wife.
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Update 4/5/07 10:03 PM
There are really no new updates on this case. I have scoured the internet. At one point I did find Joel’s myspace account but it had no friends (minus Tom and his sister Shelley) and nothing extraordinary to see.
I did find the video of Heather and Shelley on Greta Van Susteren and I wanted to post it. I think if you SEE these two ladies and the worry within them, it will strike a cord of the desperation that they are facing. We must find these children. If you know anything, please contact the FBI.
Click here to see Video
On February 19th, Joel Hundley told his wife to go and have a day to herself at the spa. The baby was fussy and Joel actually suggested taking little 10 month old Alexandria with her, but in a decision that proved to be critical, Heather Hundley left her three children with their father and went to enjoy her day.
When she returned home later that day, Joel had left a note stating Juliana (who has a severe kidney problem)was vomiting blood and a neighbor took them to the emergency room. After checking all the local hospitals and finding no trace of her family she returned home. It was then that she discovered all her children’s toys and clothing gone. It was then she knew something was terribly wrong.
Joel and Heather apparently had a tumultuous relationship, with accusations of abuse and a phone call to 911 made in September. When the police arrived, Heather reported that Joel had used “physical force” on her. He had already fled the scene though and as in many abuse cases, Heather did not press charges.
The most disturbing facts seem to come from Joel’s very own sister, Shelley Hundley. Shelley stated, “Joel had been sexually abused as a child and lives a sexually driven lifestyle that includes using Internet sex chat rooms and attending group-sex activities. She also alleges that Joel Hundley pre-meditated the kidnapping and that he told friends previously of his intention to do so. “
She also contends that Joel took at least one of the children to what was described as an orgy. “I know of one instance at least there was some really disturbing sexual things going on … I don’t know what happened to the child, I don’t have any proof the child was participating, but he [Joel] definitely doesn’t have a boundary line,” Shelley said.
Joel has sent at least one e-mail to the Hundley family since his departure, in which he mentioned that he took the kids to get away from the “violence” at home, Shelley said. But the children were in no danger at home, she insisted.
In that e-mail, Joel said he was sorry he had to take them, but didn’t give any real motivation for why he did it, she said. Shelley said Joel had told friends about his plan to take the children.
“The children are not being abused by their mother, there’s not any kind of reason … he has very delusional issues,” Shelley said.
The local police traced Joel and the children through an airline ticket from Kansas City to Houston and then to El Salvador. The LSPD then turned the case over to the FBI. Joel Hundley speaks fluent Spanish, as he grew up in Columbia and also lived in Honduras before moving to Lee’s Summit Missouri a year ago.
Law Enforcement as well as Hundley’s sister and wife believe that he was going to sell these children into prostitution. Joel Hundley has been charged in Missouri with parental kidnapping, which is defined as removing, taking detaining or concealing a child within or outside the state with the intent to deprive the custody rights of another person. The charge is a class D-Felony, which could carry with it a one-year sentence in the Jackson County Jail, up to a four-year prison sentence in the Missouri Department of Corrections and a fine up to $5,000, Childs said.
What federal charges Joel Hundley might face upon being captured have not been determined as of Wednesday, said Jeff Lanza, spokesperson for the FBI. Lanza said finding and extraditing someone from El Salvador could be difficult because of the limitations the South American country has on its extradition laws.
However, Lanza said the United States would attempt to obtain a criminal arrest warrant for Joel Hundley and work diplomatically with El Salvador officials to locate and question him.
But more importantly, the goal is to bring the children home, Lanza said. Let’s hope they bring these children home soon.
Please pray for Alexandria Hundley-Mondello, 10 months, Elijah Hundley-Mondello, 2, Julianna Hundley-Mondello, 4.
Media articles on this case: