KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City, Mo. man said his kids have been kidnapped, but no one will help him bring his little girls home. Police say their hands are tied.
Kent Kersten and his wife, Rasheeba, separated in August. The divorce isn't final and there's no custody order in place, but their two kids were living with Kent.
Two-and-a-half months ago, Rasheeba took the kids for a weekend visit and never brought them home.
The unopened Christmas presents still sit in Kent's living room.
"Missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas," Kent said, "looks like New Years as well."
Kent says Ahnna and Ava live with him because his wife Rasheeba is ill, battling cancer plus other mental and physical struggles. She picked the girls up Oct. 19 for a weekend visit they never came back.
"I don't know where they're staying or who they're staying with, they could be with strangers, I don't know what their circumstances are," says Kent, "and any father would be worried about that."
Kent is especially concerned about his littlest, 4-year-old Ava, who is a special needs child.
FOX 4 did a story about her at her first birthday in July 2009. She was called a "miracle baby" because Rasheeba was going through chemo while pregnant, and no one expected her to survive -- she was only 15 ounces when she born.
At the time, Kent says that made her the smallest baby born at KU Hospital to survive.
Police have filed a report about the girls disappearance, but Kent says police aren't helping him look for his girls.
"Because there was no order of custody, there was nothing they could do," he says.
Kansas City, Mo. police confirmed to FOX 4 that without a court order there's no custody violation, and that all too often these cases are "he said she said" so it needs to be figured out in civil court.
But, Kent points out, Missouri law on parental kidnapping specifically says even if there isn't a court order deterring custody, a parent doesn't have the right to remove or conceal kids from another parent, and Missouri law actually considers it a felony.
"Why do we have this criminal statute if nobody is going to act on it?" he asks.
Kent is working with an attorney to get the court documents he needs but the obstacle he's facing now is that he can't serve his wife papers if he doesn't know where she is.