Texas man, 20, emerges after reportedly reading story about his 1993 abduction by his father

By Angela K. Brown, AP
Friday, September 17, 2010

Man emerges after story about his 1993 abduction

BEDFORD, Texas — A 20-year-old man who authorities say was abducted by his father 17 years ago during a messy divorce apparently read a newspaper article about his disappearance and persuaded his father to turn himself in.

Stephen Michael Palacios will soon be reunited with his mother, Dee Ann Adams, after almost two decades apart. He and his father, Stephen Palacios Jr., went to a Houston attorney’s office Thursday where the father surrendered to federal authorities. Palacios Jr. was being held Friday on charges of interference with child custody.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Alfredo Perez told The Associated Press on Friday that the elder Palacios would remain in custody in Houston until McLennan County authorities retrieved him to face charges. Perez said he believed the son was staying Friday with family members, but he declined to release further details.

Adams, who remarried and has several other children, told the AP Friday that she was overwhelmed but happy. She declined to say when she planned to reunite with her son.

“I’m not ready to talk right now,” she said from her home in the Dallas suburb of Bedford.

Authorities have not said where the father and son were living. Palacios Jr.’s attorney, Paul Nugent, told The Waco-Tribune Herald on Thursday that his client “was motivated today by what is best for his son.” Nugent did not immediately return a message Friday from the AP.

It was an Aug. 29 story in the newspaper that led to the break in the case, Adams told the paper. She said her son read an article about his abduction in which police were asking the public for help, and he insisted his father surrender.

“I was told that Stephen Michael somehow saw the article in your newspaper and told his dad that he wanted to meet his mom,” she said. “Stephen Michael told him, ‘I want to meet my mom and I want you to do the right thing and get this taken care of now.’”

McLennan County prosecutor Susan Shafer called the mother Thursday afternoon to notify her that her son had been found.

“Mr. Palacios has always acted out of love for his son and by what he thought was in his son’s best interest,” said Nugent. “He is a good man, and if he has made some mistakes in judgment, he will have to deal with that now.”

Stephen Michael was reported missing March 28, 1993, after a visit with his father, who was granted visitation rights when the couple then living in Waco divorced.

A felony warrant for custodial interference was issued for the father, and detectives tracked down several leads over the years, but to no avail.

McLennan County Sheriff’s Lt. Clay Perry told the newspaper that deputies put a Palacios family wedding in Waco under surveillance in 2006, but that Palacios Jr. didn’t show up. Later that year, they had missing person photos of Stephen Michael mailed to 80 million homes in the U.S.



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