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Young woman whose mother kidnapped her as a child speaks out

Back in 1994, Dorothy Barnett lost custody of her still-nursing 9 1/2-month-old daughter to her ex-husband, Benjamin Harris Todd.

According to news reports, when Barnett became pregnant, Todd originally wanted her to terminate it. Then, as they split up, Todd painted her as mentally deficient, and convinced the court in Charleston, South Carolina, to award him custody.

Fearing for her daughter’s safety, Barnett took her and disappeared for almost 20 years. In November, she was located in Australia and arrested for parental kidnapping.

The child, now called Samantha Geldenhuys, 20, never knew of her history. For the first time, she tells her story on Australian TV.

Woman kidnapped as baby by own mom now tells her side of the story, on Shine.Yahoo.com.

Here’s more reporting on the story — including some details of how Barnett escaped.

20 years of chasing Savanna: Investigators, relocator recount case, on ABCNews4.com.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.

 

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6 Comments on "Young woman whose mother kidnapped her as a child speaks out"

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  1. grace says:

    I cried hearing this story….It is so insidious !!!How messed up is that when a mother has to flee to protect her baby because of a real psyco….I would do the same…and if I had to go to prison 20 years later….I would do it again…at least she was able to make it till her daughter was of legal age to choose…I hope this man stays out of both their lives…he should be court ordered for that…I can see him doing more harm if he got the chance…If only we could get judges in, who were savy to the psycopaths…and the harm they do….God protected this beautiful girl….pray he will work it all for good….

  2. Stargazer says:

    I admire this woman’s courage, and I think she will face her fate knowing she did right by her daughter. However, I hope the community pulls together to support her. Maybe a letter writing campaign like Oxy’s might be in order?

    A compassionate judge who wanted to uphold the law might find her guilty but give her a 3-month suspended sentence. Or something like that. Or even better, declare the trial 20 years ago a mistrial. Unfortunately, the law has not yet fully embraced the concept of a sociopath, nor would they have any way to prove he was one. When this happens, moms like Dorothy will have some protection under the law.

  3. Jan7 says:

    Prior to meeting my ex h..I never knew of pure evil….now I know when someone has been abused by a sociopath just by the mere fact they describe the person as “Evil”.

    This is a very sad story and I truly hope that Dorothy Barnett is not placed in jail for keeping her daughter safe. I wonder if her ex h as been abusive to other women and that info can be used in court to show she was telling the truth about him 20 years ago (just his response to the camera person in this video shows he can be abusive). The biggest issue she faces is Charleston being a small town where everyone knows each other, this guy being connected to it his whole life and has had 20 years to spread his lies and smear campaign against her. Hopefully people will keep their minds open.

    It’s high time that court judges be required to attend domestic abuse education courses including sociopathic behavior and mind control at the hands of abuser as well as lawyers and others that work in the court system.

    • Delores says:

      Prior to meeting the man I married and divorced I did not believe that evil existed. I thought all cruely and violence and murder were caused by ignorance. Not true! Evil exists and its name is psychopath. They know evil and relish in destruction of others.

  4. aintgonnatakeitnomore says:

    Wanted to take an exclusively nursing infant from its mother????
    SICK bastard.
    Right there is enough evidence.
    WTH is WRONG with ppl???
    A mentally ill mother wudnt invest the time and emotional energy into nursing a 9mos old, let me tell you. In our stupid society that’s considered aberrant itself and she had to be committed to that child’s well-being 110% to do it, in spite of the retarded comments she got from family & strangers.
    Bravo for Dorothy! She’s my hero of the year. Her daughter won, no matter what happens now.

  5. Delores says:

    I am so grateful that the psychopath did not want his children. At least not until they were adults and could fill his needs.

    I would have left the country in a minute if he had tried to take my children from me. What mother would not do anyting in her power to protect her children.

    The courts and judges do not understand psychopathy and if any parent wants full custody, one is most likely a psychopath. Unfortunately, the calm, lying baracuda is often believed over the real loving parent.

    Baracuda are beautiful elongated silvery blue fish that are very social at times swimming in smooth sparkling schools or can be alone. They are voratious opportunistic predators using surprise and speed, closing in on the unsuspecting target before they are aware.

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