A Christian minister has been arrested and ordered to appear in a Vermont court to answer questions about the parental kidnapping case of a little girl who was born to two women who were once in a Vermont civil union.
Timothy David Miller is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, Monday in the case of Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins, according to Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, who represented Janet Jenkins in the case.
Lisa Miller and Ms. Jenkins were in a Vermont civil union when Ms. Miller gave birth to a daughter, Isabella Miller-Jenkins, in Virginia in 2002. After the birth, they moved to Vermont, where they lived together until September 2003, when Ms. Miller and Isabella returned to Virginia.
Ms. Miller filed to dissolve the civil union in November 2003, and a custody battle developed over the ensuing months, primarily because Ms. Miller said she was no longer a lesbian and didn’t want their daughter raised in Ms. Jenkins’ lesbian lifestyle.
In January 2010, Lisa Miller failed to return Isabella Miller-Jenkins to Ms. Jenkins at her home in Fair Haven, Vermont. Ms. Jenkins filed a criminal complaint in federal court, prompting an FBI investigation.
On April 1, FBI Special Agent Dana Kaegel filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Vermont saying she had evidence that Mr. Miller aided in the “international parental kidnapping” of Isabella by Ms. Miller.
Mr. Miller, who is not known to have a biological relationship with Ms. Miller, has a Tennessee driver’s license. He and others helped Ms. Miller and Isabella leave the United States in September 2009, according to the FBI agent’s complaint.
Documents show that in September 2009, Ms. Miller and Isabella traveled to Canada, then Mexico, then El Salvador and finally Managua, Nicaragua. Mr. Miller is associated with the Christian Aid Ministries, which is based in Ohio and has a mission in Managua, Nicaragua.
There is no evidence that the pair have since returned to the United States. Isabella had her ninth birthday this month.
Ms. Jenkins said on Friday that she was “grateful to everyone in law enforcement” for their efforts to track down her daughter.
“I know very little at this point, but I really hope that this means that Isabella is safe and well. I am looking forward to having my daughter home safe with me very soon,” Ms. Jenkins said.
Both Virginia and Vermont courts became involved in the custody battle. When Ms. Miller failed to produce Isabella for her court-ordered visits with Ms. Jenkins, a Vermont court gave Ms. Jenkins sole physical and legal custody of Isabella. The court ordered that Ms. Miller transfer custody of Isabella to Ms. Jenkins on Jan. 1, 2010, but she disappeared instead.