Missing Toddler Elise André Found in Hungary With Her Mother
Three-year-old Elise André was violently abducted from the custody of her father Jean-Michel André on March 20 of this year in the city of Arles in France. The girl’s father suspected that his estranged wife and Russian citizen Irina Belenkaya was behind the kidnapping of his daughter. On Sunday, the Hungarian authorities have detained Elise and her mother near Ukrainian border. The girl’s father had arrived in Hungary on Monday to take Elise back to France immediately. Belenkaya’s fate is to be decided within 72 hours of her arrest on April 15. Three-year-old Elise has previously been abducted on two occasions by both of her parents.
Hungarian police have confirmed that they detained Irina Belenkaya, the mother of three-year-old Elise Andre abducted in France on March 20. The woman and the girl were detained on the border with Ukraine on Sunday, the same source confirmed.
Elise, who has dual Russian-French citizenship, was snatched from her 51-year-old father in southern France on March 20. The Frenchman was severely beaten in the incident, and said that his former wife was among the attackers.
The estranged couple has been embroiled in a "tug-of-war" for custody of their daughter for two years, with Russian and French courts siding with their nationals in the dispute. The girl has been abducted three times in two years.
The father of a three-year-old who was kidnapped in March in southern France, was reunited with his daughter on Monday in Hungary after police arrested the girl's mother.
"The father arrived in the afternoon to pick up little Elise and said he would return with her to France immediately," said Tamasne Makara, director of childcare facilities in Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg county.
Earlier a Russian consul met with the girl and her mother Irina Belenkaya, who has been in a single custody suite since the early hours of Monday. Her fate is to be decided till 17:00 GMT, March 15.