GREENFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Nathan Slinkard was 5 years old when his mother failed to return him to his father as an Indiana court had ordered.
On Tuesday, the 23-year-old man was back home with his father, about a week after he walked into the United States Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, and identified himself.
Nathan Slinkard arrived in Indianapolis last week, 18 years after he went missing, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said Tuesday.
Slinkard, his brother, Andrew, and sister, Sydney, had been missing from Greenfield, a city about 20 miles east of Indianapolis, since October 1995, when authorities say their mother, Trena Slinkard, failed to return them despite a court order after their father filed a motion seeking full custody.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the children were taken out of the United States, or under what circumstances Nathan Slinkard and the others separated. Sheriff’s Department Lt. Ted Munden, the last local investigator in the case, said Nathan Slinkard hadn’t divulged the others’ locations but said they were safe and unconfined. Munden said Andrew and Sydney apparently know they are free to return to the U.S. if they desire.
Nathan Slinkard provided his Social Security card and birth certificate to consulate officials, who also used scars to confirm his identity. He asked to come home to the U.S., and the consulate gave him a temporary passport so he could.
Two investigators who had searched for the children over the years — Munden and Merideth Morrison of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children — assisted in his return.
After a stop in Houston, Nathan Slinkard arrived in Indianapolis Jan. 29 and was greeted by his father, Steve Slinkard, and his aunt.
“He’s staying with Dad right now,” Munden said Tuesday. “He’s a good kid, lots of ambitions.”
Merideth could not be contacted Tuesday. Officials said the family has requested privacy.