During the evening hours of February 26th, 2010, his wife, Leah Hunkovic, with Gabriel and Anastasia in tow, secretly boarded a plane at Kennedy Airport heading for Trinidad, where she and the children have remained ever since. Just hours before takeoff, Leah unconditionally promised a Maryland judge that she would not remove the children from the U.S. without permission. Based upon that promise, the Maryland Circuit Judge Kathleen Cox entered an order prohibiting the children from leaving the country.
Upon arriving in Trinidad, despite knowing full well that she had violated the Maryland court order prohibiting the removal of the children from the U.S., Leah refused to return the children to the U.S. and to further participate in the Maryland custody case. On September 1, 2011, a Maryland court then awarded Stan, sole legal and primary physical custody of his children.
After the entry of the Maryland custody order, Stan asked the family court in Trinidad to recognize and honor it, given that the children were born and raised in Baltimore, are U.S. citizens, Baltimore was the family’s home, and the case in Maryland was filed by Leah and ongoing when she left the U.S. with the children in violation of the judge’s order. Nevertheless, in various rulings, the court in Trinidad disregarded the Maryland custody order, so far leaving the children as “wards of the court” in Trinidad for over six years. Even worse, despite being ordered by the family court in Trinidad to allow Stan to speak with the children weekly by telephone, Leah refuses him all contact with his children, and he has not seen them since the fall of 2011.
On May 9, 2012, Maryland Circuit Judge Michael Finifter, in a decisive and carefully considered ruling, signed an order holding Leah in contempt of court for failing to return the children, fining her $1,000 per day for each day that she fails to return the children, beginning June 1, 2012. Despite being served with a copy of this order, Leah continues to refuse to abide by the terms of the custody order. Now, more than 2 years after the entry of the order, and the accrual of over $1,300,000 in fines, Leah still refuses to return the children, and the court in Trinidad still refuses to enforce the Maryland court order.
We pray every day for their safe return, but now we need your help. Please join Stan’s family and friends in support of his quest to bring his children home, by raising awareness of his situation and letting the officials at the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as our government officials, know that the abduction of Stan’s children, as well as those of other left behind parents all over the country, must not be tolerated. Please help Gabriel and Anastasia have a voice!!!!