International Ordeal Reunites Mother, 4-Year-Old
6/12/2012 (Updated 10:16:53 PM)(Source: FOX 40 Staff)
Margarita Gonzalez says she reluctantly agreed to let her three-year-old son Justice go on a vacation to Panama with his biological father, Daniel Bonilla, last July.
"What was supposed to be a one week vacation turned into what?"
"11 months of a nightmare," said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez says as soon as Bonilla had physical custody of Justice, he informed her he was leaving with their son and not coming back. That led to a confrontation on Second Street in Binghamton where police were called.
Gonzalez says police told her since there was no custody agreement there was nothing stopping Justice's father from taking him. And if Gonzalez tried to forcibly take him back she could be arrested for assault. So Gonzalez watched her son go and went right to court.
"I turned into a lawyer/private detective. Yes," said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was granted sole custody of Justice in September, making Justice's case one of parental interference. But Gonzalez knew only her son and his father were somewhere in Panama. She says Bonilla would call once a month.
"Because he was always, every month (saying), 'You want to see your child again, send some money,'" said Gonzalez.
She says she only spoke twice to her son in the eleven months he was gone.
"It was difficult because he would tell me he loves me and I would tell him, 'I love you.' And the last conversation I had with him on May 2nd he was saying, 'Mama, I only have a hammer. I don't have no toys.' And to know he had his room full of toys and everything. I just couldn't do it. I just broke down," said Gonzalez.
As hard as it was for Gonzalez not to send money to her son, she says that lack of money led to a critical break. She says Bonilla left Panama for Costa Rica in search of government assistance.
And when Costa Rican officials entered Bonilla's name in their database, this case raised a red flag. Gonzalez says officials took Justice from Bonilla and notified her.
"The greatest feeling was June 1st when I received that call. And I was ready to go. I was on my way," said Gonzalez.
To Gonzalez' knowledge Bonilla is still in Panama. But more importantly Justice is now home.
"I had is Christmas gifts, I had them wrapped. I had his Christmas presents. I had his Halloween costume. I had his Easter basket without the candies. After a while they do go bad. Once he arrived we were at home and we had everything. I saved everything," said Gonzalez.
****In Binghamton, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 News.****
View Related Articles:
Binghamton or comment on this one below.