POMPANO BEACH (CBS4) — A Pompano Beach father hoping to be reunited soon with his missing 2-year-old daughter may have to wait longer, despite learning his ex-wife was captured with the girl and her parents as they tried to leave the United Arab Emirates Friday.
Christopher Dahm has been working with the U.S. State Department and FBI to retrieve his toddler daughter who was taken to the Middle East without his knowledge last August.
“I miss my girl so much,” Christopher Dahm says as he breaks into tears.
It happens whenever he goes into his little girl’s rooms, it difficult to see her toys and books.
“It’s hard for me to look at this stuff,” he cries.
Interpol issued an alert for the family after the federal government indicted them on a charge of international parental kidnapping, and on Friday, the state department told Dahm that his wife, Leslie Delbecq and her parents were detained at the Abu Dhabi airport.
But, they didn’t stay in custody long.
“They had advised me that they’re also out on bond,” Dahm said after he spoke to the U.S. government. “They somehow got out immediately on bond and unfortunately they already have custody of my little girl.”
Last September, a Broward Circuit court judge granted Dahm full custody of Gabby after his ex-wife failed to return the girl from Abu Dhabi voluntarily.
If convicted in U.S. federal court, Leslie Delbecq and her parents could face three years in prison.
Christopher has more questions than answers about how his daughter has grown up without him.
“I have a lot of questions. When they took her, she was basically bald. She had no hair. How long is her hair, what color is her hair, what does she like to do?”
And he has a bigger question –will Gabby even understand him?
“What language does she speak?” he wonders. “I’m learning French now, because in their household, they only speak French, so it’s important for me to know how to communicate with her.”
Unfortunately for Dahm, the United Arab Emirates doesn’t have an extradition agreement with the U.S. But, Dahm said he has faith in diplomacy and a compassionate judge half-way around the world.
“It’s hard,” Dahm cried. “Because I miss my little girl, she needs her daddy.”