Indonesia: Update--Abduction of French Toddler, Age 2, in Bali
COMMENT: According to my posting of June 15, and based upon new information provided by THE BALI DAILY, it appears that the French father, Christopher Mattei, and his two-year-old toddler, Logan, had reportedly flown from the French island of Réunion to Bali.
Clearly, Réunionis a considerable and costly distance to travel for a father and his toddler son, considering that the boy may or may not have been crawling or walking as yet. It has also been learned that the suspected kidnapper, Joaninha Maria Sonia Gonzales, 33, told authorities she wanted
to care for the child after returning to the hotel with the boy's
father from a bar where they apparently had met.
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometers southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island.
I personally find it a bit strange that any father with a two-year-old would fly he and his young son 4,069 miles (6,549 kilometers), but in the absence of facts to the contrary, one can only conclude that life is very interesting because people are so different from one another.
Reportedly, Christopher Mattei and Gonzales went to a nightclub in Kuta, leaving the young boy in the hands of a babysitter provided by the Three Brothers Inn.
Mattei and Gonzales returned to the hotel at approximately 0200 hours on Wednesday and found the toddler sleeping, at which point the father asked the babysitter to go home. It is unknown as to what transpired between Gonzales and Mattei between the time the hotel babysitter was sent home and the next morning.
According to police, when Christopher Mattei woke up later that morning his son and Gonzales were gone, at which point he called local police.
Gonzales was well known to local police and reportedly had victimized a number of other foreigners in the past.
After Gonzales was arrested on Thursday, police learned that she had already placed the young boy with a local orphanage, from which the boy was rescued.
One can only hope that the police in Bali thoroughly interview Christopher Mattei to determine why and how he met a known criminal without verifying her bona fides.
As I have said so often in the past, men and women alike must exercise considerably more caution before taking up with total strangers, particularly where the welfare of children are concerned.
I retired from the US State Department in April 2006, after a career as a special agent, Senior Regional Security Officer (SRSO), director of training, chief investigator of the Cyprus Missing Persons Program, director of security of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and as a senior adviser in the Office of Anti-Terrorism Assistance.
My book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD was published in May 2008.
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I am a former Federal Firearms Dealer (US), a certified NRA pistol instructor and a certified NRA Range Safety Officer.
My career has also included 15 years as an international security consultant; for ten years I served as the security adviser to the Inter-American Development Bank.
I additionally, served six years in the Marines, which included combat service in Vietnam.
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