Charges filed against mom accused of fleeing country with two daughters

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A mom now faces charges for interfering with parental custody. She and her two daughters are believed to be halfway around the world.

The Douglas County district attorney announced charges late on Friday afternoon against Samantha Elmer for two counts of aggravated interference with parental custody.

Dad Justin Bush shares joint custody of the girls with Elmer, and told FOX 4 that Elmer took their nine and 11-year-old daughters out of the country in October, without his knowledge or permission, and they still haven't returned.

According to a release from the district attorney’s office, on October 29 Bush said the girls had missed six days of school, and Elmer told the school that they had mono. Bush said he carries health insurance for the girls and knew that they hadn’t been to see a doctor.

Bush says his ex-wife is charged with multiple crimes in an unrelated case, and this is all a ploy to make sure she stays out of jail. Elmer was due in a Johnson County courtroom on October 30 for a theft case, and has a warrant out for her arrest for failing to appear.

“I’m terrified for them, they probably don’t know what’s going on,” Bush told FOX 4’s Abby Eden on Thursday.

Lawrence police have been investigating and found that a rental car had been dropped off at Chicago O'Hare airport, and Elmer and the girls boarded a plane to Vienna, Austria on Turkish Airlines. If you have any information on their current whereabouts, you should call Lawrence police at (785) 832-7509.

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