Taken without knowledge or permission, metro dad desperate to find daughters

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- Justin Bush says his ex-wife took their two daughters out of the country last month without his knowledge or permission. Now he says he's desperate to find them and hopeful that somehow they'll find out that he's looking for them.

Taylor and Morgan are 11 and nine years old. Taylor loves sports and electronics. Morgan is a girly-girl who someday wants to be a veterinarian. Bush says his daughters are the most important part of his life. The dad says he always checks on his girls, and he has joint custody with their mother, Samantha Elmer.

"I've been calling the school, why are my girls not in school, where are they supposed to be, are they really sick?” he said.

Recently, when they weren't in their Lawrence area school, he got worried. Bush said he contacted Lawrence police to check on his daughters and their mother. Lawrence police checked on October 29th, and they were all gone. Police say they found out all three were out of the country. Bush says he believes they’re in Austria.

Bush says his ex-wife is charged with multiple crimes in an unrelated case, and that this is all a ploy to make sure she stays out of jail and keeps custody of the girls. And he says he's worried for Taylor and Morgan's safety.

"I'm terrified for them, they probably don't know what's going on," Bush said.

Bush is speaking up in hopes that somehow his girls will see their dad on TV and know something's wrong.

"I need people overseas to see the story. I need my girls to see… My girls need to know that I love them and that we're looking for them, and we're going to do everything we can to get them back," Bush said.

Lawrence police say they are pursuing charges of aggravated interference with parental custody. To find out more about the situation, click here.