By Isha Sesay • 06 December 2019 • 13:52
Alberto Encinas and his daughter Olivia Encinas before she was taken to Poland. Credit: Family handout.
AN eight-year long nightmare has ended for Alberto Encinas as he reunited with his beloved daughter Olivia who he had not seen since she was three-years-old.
The young girl was found by police in Poland on Wednesday (December 6), years after an arrest warrant was issued for her mother Katarzyna Hlond for kidnapping.
The case dates back to 2011, after Alberto was awarded full custody of his child by a court order. He had allowed Katarzyna to take Olivia from Mallorca, Spain, to her native country under the pretext of a holiday, but she never returned home and he has not been able to make contact with her since.
Over the years, Alberto has spent over €60,000 in a desperate search to find his daughter, hiring private investigators, launching lawsuits and even spending weeks in Polish cities such as Blachownia, Czestochowa, Przeciszów and Katowiche, as well as in Russia and Germany. Alberto also appeared on television programs in Spain several times, desperately appealing for information on his child.
The case took a dramatic turn this year, after Katarzyna challenged her arrest warrant by appearing on a Polish television program dressed in disguise stating that she fled Mallorca because her husband had maltreated her.
During the interview, she acknowledged that she had hidden from authorities with the help of others who allowed her to live as a fugitive in Poland. Her move however backfired, allowing officers to track her location.
After hearing the news of the arrest, Alberto travelled to Katowice, where he met with his long-lost daughter on Thursday, December 5. Speaking on behalf of Alberto, lawyer Juan Antonio Godoy said:
“This has put an end to years of judicial struggles for my client and gives triumph to a father who has shown a clear example of perseverance and strength in the search of his child.”
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