By Joan Murray

POMPANO BEACH (CBS4) – A South Florida father is working with the state department and FBI to retrieve his toddler daughter who was taken to the Middle East without his knowledge.

Christopher Dahm, 34, hasn’t seen his two year old daughter Gabrielle since last August.

“She means everything to me.  She’s my life. My biggest goal was to be the best dad in the world and I am,” said Dahm told CBS4’s Joan Murray from his Pompano Beach home.

Dahm says the last time he saw Gabrielle he sensed something was wrong.

“She wouldn’t let go of me,” said Dahm. “She could sense something was about to happen but she couldn’t talk yet.”

Dahm says his divorce from his wife Leslie Delbecq became final in January 2010.  The couple was given equal custody rights.  A condition of the custody agreement was that Gabrielle was not to be taken out of the country.

Then Dahm learned that Delbecq had bought three one way tickets to Abu Dhabi.  Delbecq has dual U.S. and Belgian citizenship and she was able to obtain a passport for her daughter by claiming to be a single mother.

Last September a Broward Circuit court judge granted Dahm full custody after his ex-wife failed to return Gabby from Abu Dhabi voluntarily.

“My heart is empty.  She’s a part of me.  We were beginning to bond when they took her.

It’s so devastating.  I know she misses me and needs her daddy,” says Dahm.

Dahm is using the same attorney who helped return nine year old Sean Goldman to his father in New Jersey.

He is also working with Ft. Lauderdale attorney Douglas Reynolds.  Reynolds says they have a meeting scheduled with the U.S. attorney’s office and are hoping the government will indict Dahm’s ex-wife on kidnapping charges.

“We believe if the U.S. Attorney’s Office pursues this, it will assist us greatly in the return of the child,” said Reynolds.

Still, he says, it will be a lengthy fight.

Reynolds added, “You measure these cases in years, not months and that’s the real tragedy of this situation.”

Dahm is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring his daughter home.  “I’m never gonna give up.  I know they won’t either.  it will be difficult but she’s daddy’s little girl.”

Dahm has also set up a website for his daughter at

He has had postcards made up with Gabby’s picture that he passes out at shopping malls, describing his plight.

Dahm is asking for the support of the community as he pursues the difficult international legal and investigative work to find Gabby and bring her home.

Comments (7)
  1. Jemma says:

    This is a complete tragedy. This father sould never be seperated from his daughter. He obviously wants to reaise her and be apart of her life, which is more than most parents can say. The person who wrote the last comment surley has a personal vendetta against this man. This child needs her father, and the mother should be locked up! This father loves his daughter, Gabby, and this is apparent, and she needs her father. I will keep this father, his daughter, and his ex-wife in my prayers.

    1. justsaying says:

      If u google this mans name you will see that he has a criminal history and maybe that’s why she took the baby. Just saying, i mean it’s still not right. but we don’t know what happen. we don’t live with them.

  2. terry says:

    I have had three childeren kidnapped, and taken outside of the United States by my ex. It was HELL trying to get them back. Finally, I did get my kids back, but it took some time and it cost a fortune. You need help from everyone in the community when something like this happens. I want to help this father however I can. The U.S. government needs to put something in place to keep this from happenening. Children should not be allowed to leave this country without clear permission from the other parent. A valid passport should not be enough. I will keep this whole family in my prayers!

  3. Mark says:

    My heart goes out to this father. I think most parents would have given up. I repect him for fighting so hard for his little girl. I followed the Goldman case in New Jersey, where the mother took their little boy to Brazil, and never came back. In that case, David Goldman spent over $500,000 to get his son back. These international fights can be very expensive. What happens if the average person’s baby get’s kidnapped? How do they afford the legal expenses? This dad can’t do all this on his own. He needs help. Thank God our community is rallying to help this father. He needs all of our thoughts, prayers, help, and support! God Will Bring This Father’s Daughter Home!

  4. Marie says:

    These types of kidnappings should never occur. Why aren’t there laws in place to prevent international parental kidnappings? This doesn’t make sense. We need to pass laws preventing international parental kidnappings. Our country has the ability to pass the laws which will make it almost impossible for these types of abductions to take place. The kids need both of their parents. Any parent that removes a child from the other parent’s custody illegally, and then flees the country is being completely selfish. Bring this baby home!

  5. jpjoil says:

    I just watched the story on TV about American children getting kidnapped and taken to Japan by their mothers. In Japan, they haven’t changed these types of laws for hundreds of years. I have three kids, and I want my husband to have half of the rights. I think he should be responsible. This father wants to raise his daughter, and the baby’s mother took her away illegally. What she did is not right. Our government needs to step in and bring this baby home. This is an American child, and she should be raised in America. This little girl needs her father! Every little girl needs her father, espacially if the father wants to raise his daughter. This little 2 year old girl that was taken to the Middle East is an American citizen, and she needs to be brought back to America, and raised in America. It is her birthright. She is an American.

  6. Jessica Alba says:

    I hope that the American father never sees his daughter again and that she remains in the United Arab Emirates. I am a citizen of Belgium and the United States.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Miami

What Are People Talking About?
Weather Forecast 24/7Check for current temps and what to expect throughout the day

Watch & Listen LIVE