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I only became aware after they were long gone. Even after asking his immediate family members, I could not get an exact date of leaving or travel plan, even though they dropped them at the airport. I was only told they were on vacation in the Mediterranean and they did not know his plans or whereabouts but they were sure Emma and her father would return in October. The return date came and went, there was never any intention of returning. In place was a well laid out plan of total separation, including absolutely isolating Emma from anyone’s reach, not only physically but most of all mentally.
Once I realized the depth of the plan and that he had convinced others to be onboard, not only was I in a scramble to understand why this was happening, I had to figure out how to stand up and fight to fix the situation.
You can only guess and have a general idea of a region but no address, no city, no contact. Against you, those who know the answers choose to conceal them and set up an intricate game of control and deception.
The answer to that question, I had absolutely NO idea where to start! But a mothers love and devotion shows no limits! So I picked myself off the floor, stood up and decided I would not be a victim to abuse any longer!
The journey has been long, grueling, and absolutely devastating in some ways but absolutely enlightening in others. The odyssey is far from over. The struggle not only includes finding and having Emma back in my arms but also putting into place long term healing for everyone involved. (Even those involved in the deception)
The return date came and went!
It was at this time I realized the amount of scheming and deception that had gone into his plan.
I knew it was useless to reach out to those he had onboard to help in his game, I knew his power of persuasion and manipulation. I had witnessed many years of outward abuse he inflicted on others, not just myself. The one thing I had faith in is that most every single one of those cases, his mask would slip at some point and they would SEE. The truth always wants to be known and will surface, ALWAYS.
Summer of 2015
I also interviewed and searched for the right attorney that would be able to handle the complexities of the case.
At this time the court found him unwilling to comply with our parenting agreement as well as his denial to provide me with her exact location.
An emergency FULL custody order was issued to me as well as an order for him to present Emma to the court in person.
Again, he refused compliance to the court and ignored the order to bring Emma back to the US.
As a result of his disrespect to the judge and court order to return Emma to the US, as well as refusing to give information on her location, he was held in contempt. He received a sentence of 180 days in jail, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
During all of the court proceedings in the US, he refused to physically show up even after being ordered by a judge several times to do so. He did in fact hire an attorney to represent him, but the attorney resigned shorty after seeing the truth.
This disrespect for any authority or court has show to become a repeated pattern throughout this process.
While living through intense court proceedings. I also had to endure normal life events and bare the pain of separation and no contact.
My only choice was to post publicly on Facebook in hopes that she would receive my wishes and know that I love her with all my heart.
Progress! Or so I thought.
In November of 2016 the Turkish court located him and he went in for his statement. He refused to return Emma to the US and wanted to continue with the case in Turkey verses the US. Since he had made this his new home it would seem to be to his benefit. Not to mention, harder for me to fight from such a distance, especially since the ball was now in his home court.
Unfortunately, the Turkish government was being reorganized and I experienced many delays. Finally, I was able to get my first court hearing on July, 3rd 2017.
Time was painfully passing.
special occasions still coming and going with no contact.
New Memories not being made.
Old memories mourned.
Continuing to follow the only way I could think to reach her was to post publicly on Facebook in hopes she could find my messages and know I am still here and fighting.
Today it still sits in my freezer, along with the last one waiting for her return.
I make it through because I know deep in my heart that her old memories are there, as mine are vivid.
I accept this separation as a time to grow stronger, so in turn I can be stronger for her in the future.
One step forward, three step back!
Once I found an amazing attorney in Mersin, Turkey, we began gathering information for the case. Of course I already had boxes of evidence and an air tight case in the US. But like snowballs down a mountain new stuff continued to pour in. I was in constant surprise and awe as the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. Skeletons started pouring out of the closets and some of them just happened to have experienced the same patterns of abuse inflected from his mouth and mind. As I mentioned before, the mask always falls and the truth always shows itself. Stories can be built, elaborations and manuplatoins only work for so long and people eventually look for hard proof when holes start to appear. These new findings helped to show the massive amount of trauma that my daughter and I had both gone through already.
It was time for the first hearing in Turkey, July 3rd 2017. I traveled by myself on a 2 week journey. Before I arrived, my attorney had already been in front of the judge. This resulted in securing a visitation order for me to get Emma a few days before and a few days after the hearing.
I kept gifts and plans to a minimum. I was concerned at how overwhelming this visit might be and was prepared to roll with whatever.
Or so I thought!
You guest it! They were NOT there! After hearing some crazy story from a neighboor, we had no choice but to leave empty handed.
Court Date July 3rd 2017
After a weekend of nervous anticipation wondering if he would actually show up to court, the day arrived. I got a cab and headed to the courthouse, again watching the outside scenery in a daze and slow motion, looking on every corner and inside every door for Emma. I arrived early and just sat outside looking at the people going in and out, hoping to see my babycakes.
Again, slow motion set in. The court hearing continued but a familiar feeling washed over me in my internal silence. The same feeling when I found out he had left the US and I didn’t know where she was. For over a year I had at least some comfort knowing the city where she was. I wondered to myself, if I would always be 3 steps behind his planning and manipulative mind. My way of thinking has always been peace and balance. How can these two ways of thinking compete in this game. I also had going against me that he was a trained attorney, although he lost his license due to fraud, he still knew the law and how to work it to his advantage.
The court hearing ended with the judge telling me had already review all of the material prior. The amount of evidence presented was so overwhelming he was ready to make a decision that day. He could not make the ruling because the request of the court was to return Emma to the US. However, since she was not in Turkey, he could not make that ruling. The Judge and my attorney then explained what could happen going forward. Since it was aparent that her father was aware of the case, instead he chose to flee mid process without informing the court, he could be charged with re-kidnapping in Turkey.
So at that time it was apparent that both sides of the extended family was on board to continue the deception and participate in breaking the law and contribute to kidnapping.
Back in the USA
I do not think he expected that I would make it this far. His goal was to crush me down to ashes so that I did not have the financial or mental strength to continue to fight. As the old saying goes, where there is a will there is a way. My will is strong and the harder I fight the stronger I get.
“Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop!”
On July 31st 2017, Michael McCoy was indicted for International Parental Kidnapping.
A federal warrant is in place for his arrest.
Stuck in a loop
At this point I am regrettably well versed in the process, so I quickly put together the material for a new filing. I again found a new attorney based in the Netherlands that specialized in these matters and started the process.
The court again located Mr. McCoy and asked for a statement and to return Emma willingly. He hired an attorney, refused to return Emma and asked for the case to be heard in the Netherlands.
On the last communication with his attorney, he was no longer represented due to the non-payment of fees and could not be located.
Are we seeing a pattern here?
At this point, of course, the first thing in my mind is “they are gone again”. There were rumors of other countries they may have fled, investigations, etc. The pattern of hiding to stall and buy time was very clear and had worked extremely well to this point, so of course, he would continue. The problem in the Netherlands is their privacy laws are SO intense getting answers took way too much time. Of course finding any traces of Michael, Meltem or Emma on social media was also equally as impossible. I can’t imagine living a life so secluded that you can’t participate in social media, especially for a teenager. But I hoped that she was still participating, even if under a fake name because this was still my only way to try and say anything to her, through my own personal public post.
As time passes, again holidays come and go. But my heart could never be whole, it was always missing the most important piece. I again had NO idea where my daughter was and if she was ok?
I must find a balance of living and fighting.
I try to express my maternal urges by bonding with my nieces and nephews. In which I am proud to say they think I am just the greatest aunt ever 😉 Maybe I go overboard and spoil them a bit 😉
But in the end both they and Emma are missing childhood memories together – family memories
I am watching my mom age in the present but yet all she talks about are the old times she and Emma spent together, she wonders if Emma remembers them or if they have been erased in her memories?
“Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildrn in order to be a full human being.”
“Young people need something stable to hang on to — a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them.” – Jay Kesler
Throughout my battle, it has been necessary to research many things. Not only law and court issues but psychological as well. I needed answers as to “why” and “how” something like this could happen. I absolutely knew for a fact I was not a bad mother and did nothing wrong, I did NOT lose my child in a court battle or she was taken because I was abusive. I lost my daughter due to the complex psychological issues that happen in divorce situations. I lost my daughter to straight-up extreme Pathological Parenting – Parental Alienation.
During my time researching all of the reasons why and how, I also found 1000’s of parents experiencing the same thing, although on many different levels. I found parents who were dealing with International Parental Kidnapping as well as varying levels of parental alienation, all being inched out of their children’s life due to the actions of the other parent or caregiver.
I realized this vicious cycle of abuse is a massive problem, all around the world. I took a closer look at my life and how parental alienation has affected me in other ways. One big way that it has affected me is that I have half-siblings from the past of my father. During the last few years, I have found one of my brothers and have started to create a relationship with him. This has been one of the greatest things to have happened to me. BUT the flip side, both he and I now have to live with the fact of knowing how much we have missed in each other’s lives. How many times he could have protected his little sis, how many times I could have asked my big brother for advice. We see how much our personalities are similar but different and we wonder how things could have been. We have anger, a lot of hurt of “why”, we for sure didn’t do anything wrong. The problem was how the parents handled the divorce and how the manipulation happened after. Who is left to suffer the most? We are, as the children!
As you see we are making up for lost time and I am also enjoying MORE nieces and nephews to spoil.
After learning all of the psychology behind what was happening just made me fight harder. I knew that if I could not reach Emma in these younger years, how could I save her mentally? How could I get her the help she would need to understand the intense manipulation she has experienced. Would I be like my stepfather and on my death bed only have a photo and a hope? or could I be like my brother and I to rebuild something even after time was lost?