Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ATTENTION SANTA FE RESIDENTS: Have you seen Ann or Samantha Kibalo?

Kudos to the New Mexican for this story! It would be good for all newspapers to follow the example of writing about people who could be in their local areas.
The only thing that could have made it better would have been photos. (The ones below are from the Charley Project.)
Story from
Missing girl, mom might be in S.F.
By Anne Constable The New Mexican
December 10, 2006
Mother kidnapped daughter from father in February
2001A 7-year-old girl abducted by her mother five years ago might be living in
Santa Fe, according to six eyewitnesses.
Samantha Michelle Kibalo and her mother, Ann Yermak Kibalo, disappeared
from Suffern, N.Y., in February 2001 after failing to return from a
court-authorized overnight visit.
The child’s father, Michael Kibalo, who had sole custody of Samantha, has
been searching for her ever since.
After receiving a tip she might be here, Kevin Gallagher, a lawyer and
friend of Michael Kibalo, visited Santa Fe twice — in February and in September.
He distributed missing-child fliers and talked to six people who said they were
certain they had seen mother and daughter — at a mall, a doctor’s office and
other places.
One woman who talked to the mother and daughter several times described
Samantha as “real quiet, withdrawn.” She said the mother didn’t interact much
with the child.
Michael Kibalo, who now lives in Morris Plains,
N.J., won sole custody of his daughter when she was 11 months old after court
testimony that his former wife hit the child and might suffer from a mental
condition called Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy, which could cause her to harm
Samantha or seek unnecessary medical treatment. In a span of 11 months, Ann
Kibalo apparently took her daughter to seven different doctors on 33
Two months after their disappearance, Ann Kibalo’s abandoned sport-utility
vehicle was found in a Brooklyn parking garage. Eyewitnesses reportedly later
spotted her in Florida.
Michael Kibalo said FBI profilers have told him his wife and child are
probably moving around a lot, using two or three different aliases. He suspects
his former mother-in-law is helping them because she has refinanced her house
numerous times.
Ann Kibalo has an accounting degree from Brooklyn College and might work as
a bookkeeper. Michael Kibalo and his attorney believe she is home-schooling
Samantha, in part because they have not been able to locate her at any
elementary schools in the area.
Samantha is listed with every known group in the United States that helps
find missing children. The case was featured twice on America’s Most Wanted, a
Fox Television show hosted by John Walsh, whose son was abducted and killed in
1981, as well as on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries in 2002, its final year.
Michael Kibalo said his daughter’s picture will appear in the tax
preparation books issued by the Internal Revenue Service next year.
He says people have told him Santa Fe “might be a good place for people to
hide” because “It’s artsy (and) people can blend in.”
“I actually believe that if she doesn’t turn up in Santa Fe, some day Sam
is going to find herself. If I keep active,” she’ll find me, he said.
Samantha is described as having light brown hair and brown eyes.
Ann Kibalo, now 43, is 5 feet tall, 120 pounds with brown hair and blue
eyes, although she might be wearing brown contacts.
People who have information about their whereabouts are encouraged to call
Contact Anne Constable at 995-3845 or
You can print your own poster of Samantha here.

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