The story of three-year-old Tania Olmos brings to memory another case of parental kidnapping which occurred years ago, right here in Las Vegas. It was the case of four-year-old Jessica Harrison. Tania Olmos was last seen December 30, 2012, with her father, Eduardo Olmos Hernandez, during visitation scheduled by Family Court. This is an abduction obviously well prepared by Tania’s father because it’s been reported that he vacated his apartment, quit his job, sold all his belongings and simply disappeared with the child.
Tania’s mother, Stephanie Olmos, believes he has taken the child to Mexico where she will never be found. Stephanie Olmos’ fears are well founded, because even if authorities claim they are after father and child and threaten that anybody helping them will be charged with being an accomplice of the kidnapping of an American child, we all know those are only useless threats.
The case of Jessica Harrison – missing since July 11, 2000 – is exactly like the one of Tania Olmos. Jessicas’s story began on April 27, 2000, when Family Court Judge Cynthia Dianne Steel ordered 4-year-old Jessica to spend two months with her father, Mark Harrison, in Las Vegas, then two months with her mother, Marta Olivia Ruiz Hernandez, in Puebla, Mexico. Marta then left with the child and never returned.Jessica’s story involves kidnapping, loss of respect for a human being, bribes, extortion, threats to the life of an American citizen by Mexican authorities, an international dilemma and lies from foreign authorities. It also involves neglect from a Clark County, Nevada Family Court Judge; and most of all, it involves total neglect by the United States government toward United States’ citizens.At a telephonic hearing on October 4, 2000, from Mexico, Marta was obviously a “no-show”; the telephone number in the home in Puebla was disconnected. Too late to be of any help to him, Mark Harrison was granted that day full custody of his daughter.Mark Harrison (Jessica’s father) found and retained the services of local attorney Steven Compan, who guided him through the necessary steps to invoke the Hague Convention, a non-productive treaty agreement between the United States and several other countries that agree to return American-born children after the legal procedures take place in the other country.Senior Deputy Attorney General Brian Kunzi assisted the father and grandmother with preparing and filing the Criminal Complaint and arranging for the Arrest Warrant for Marta Ruiz Hernandez, and also enlisted the help of the FBI.
The State Department was also contacted and all documents from the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, Family Division, were forwarded to them.The Office of Children’s issues at the State Department supposedly assists in cases of international parental child abduction. Although that department has been communicating with the father and grandmother throughout the years, it is frustrated with Mexico, stating that it is harder to bring back an American-born child from Mexico than from the Middle East.Due to the neglectful interest of all authorities involved, Mark Harrison decided to travel to Mexico on his own and look for his daughter. He traveled to Puebla, which is the fourth largest city in Mexico, located 75 miles east of Mexico City. He first tried to enlist the Mexican government office of family issues in Puebla. They kept him there for four long hours giving his deposition just to later inform him that they didn’t know anything about his case and that they were not in receipt of any documents regarding him or his minor child, Jessica Harrison.With total lack of support from the FBI, the Attorney General’s Office and the State Department, Mark was determined to find his daughter. He went directly to the home Marta has claimed her family owned for over 45 years, located at Rio Atoyac #5924, Colonia San Manuel in Puebla.The house at that location has steel doors clear across the property and is very concealed from public view.
Frustrated by not being able to see or speak to anyone in the house, Mark Harrison went to a nearby taco stand to clear his mind and have something to eat. It was while there that 12 Mexican federales (not one, not two, but 12) surrounded him with AK47’s pointed at him, questioning what he was doing in that neighborhood. Mark Harrison tried to remain calm and sat still. He didn’t want to create any problems, much less be killed by some corrupt Mexican lunatics in a foreign country. They demanded he leave Puebla immediately.Did the relatives of Marta Ruiz Hernandez, living in such a secluded home hidden from the public eye, see Mark outside the home and summon the help of the authorities to have Mark arrested (or even worse, killed) just a few steps from where his own daughter lived?Mark and his mother Lydia immediately informed the State Department about the incident. Their response was that neither Mark nor Lydia should ever go back to Puebla again because they have no jurisdiction in Mexico.The State Department claims that any American citizen found in distress in any foreign country should contact the State Department and/or the American Embassy. Yet apparently not in the case of the Harrison family.Mark Harrison and his mother Lydia have contacted almost everyone between the United States and Mexico, and if not altogether ignored, they have received virtual slaps on their faces.Today, Jessica Harrison is 16 years old.
Her father and grandparents have spent 12 years of their lives trying to bring Jessica home where she belongs. They have written to Sen. Harry Reid many times without any result.Senator Reid is so benevolent toward the fate of the 12 million plus illegal aliens living in the United States that he is willing to support amnesty and a pass to citizenship for all of them. Before he even considers amnesty for illegal aliens living in our cities, he better consider bringing back American citizens kidnapped to Mexico, and try to negotiate with the Mexican Ambassador in Washington.In some of the many communications Lydia Harrison had with Mexican authorities, the only thing she received by way of a reply or offer to “help” was from a supposed attorney in Puebla – Francisco Morales Nieblas – who apparently works for the Federal Public Ministry – who requested a bribe in US dollars.In his first communication, he requested four toners for a Compaq printer, 6,000 US dollars, and lastly, Jessica’s birth certificate and Social Security number.In the second communication, Morales Nieblas wanted to know if the Harrisons have spoken to anyone regarding his demands for money, since that is illegal.In the third communication, 5,000 US dollars were requested, as well as payment for a long list of expenses.Since it was never the intention of the Las Vegas Tribune to libel anyone, much less a Mexican authority, those communications received by Mark and Lydia Harrison from the supposed attorney Francisco Morales Nieblas, who in his own handwriting very clearly stated it was a “MORDIDA” (which, translated into English, means a BRIBE) were reprinted in our issue of April 1, 2010.
In February 2010, ABC Channel 13 Las Vegas covered the case of Jessica Harrison and contacted the Attorney General’s Office for a statement on their investigation. Lydia Harrison (Jessica’s grandmother) received an email from Special Investigator Michele Chase requesting information with only four hours notice. Lydia was totally puzzled and wondered where all the information from their so-called investigations were when they needed to contact her to respond to a reporter’s inquiry.It would be totally inhumane for local authorities to give Stephanie Olmos (Tania’s mother) any false hope when they are well aware that nothing will be done in her case. Despite the Hague Convention, an international agreement among some nations to honor eachother’s custody laws, it is a difficult and lengthy ordeal to obtain Mexican authorities’ cooperation in cases of parents abducting their children and fleeing across the border.Although a signatory nation to the Hague Convention, Mexico does not recognize American laws. They demand that everyone obey their laws, but ignore every other nation’s laws.
Parental abduction is a felony in Nevada, but Mexico does not consider it an extraditable offense.