Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Aarys Oberlander-Hower: Poster update

The possible locations have changed.
I wonder why this is listed just as "missing" and not as "family abduction". Perhaps it is not established that he is with his father?
From Aarys' poster:


DOB: Jun 5, 1996
Missing: Nov 6, 2006
Height: 4'9" (145 cm)
Eyes: Brown
Race: White
Age Now: 12
Sex: Male
Weight: 65 lbs (29 kg)
Hair: Lt. Brown
Missing From:
United States
Aarys was last seen on November 6, 2006. He may be in the
company of his non-custodial father. They are believed to be in Cyprus or
Bahrain. Aarys has a scar under his right eye and a scar under his
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)
Federal Bureau of Investigation
(Pennsylvania) 1-412-432-4000
You can print a poster to put up at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since you have taken an interest in this case, I'll take the time to respond.

The poster changed because the mother has filed ambiguous info. The child is not even missing, and the date listed as missing is a court date at which she did not have any custody of the child at the time. Here is a letter that has been sent to NCMEC, but as of yet unrespnded to.


May 7th, 2008
Mr. David O’ Brien
Director, International Division
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
699 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

RE: Aarys Charles Oberlander Hower
PHONE: 212-808-3065 • FAX : 212-658-9724

Dear David,

I am writing to you in reference to the case of Aarys Charles Oberlander Hower, posted on the NCMEC website. I have been retained by the child’s father to assist him in corresponding with different agencies seeking information from him.

I have reviewed the legal record of this case and believe that the child is in the father’s custody in full accordance with valid court orders and that the child’s mother has chosen to avail herself of the services of NCMEC and other governmental agencies as a substitute for seeking to modify these court orders through proper channels, namely through the court that issued them.

Aarys was born on June 5th, 1996 in Church Hill, Tennessee. Chad Hower and Nancy Oberlander, the child’s parents, were married at the time of his birth. In 2002 Mr. Hower and Ms. Oberlander got divorced in Tennessee and a co-parenting plan was established and ordered by the courts of that state. In 2004 the mother moved to Pennsylvania with the child. This move was in violation of Tennessee law and in direct contempt of an order enjoining Ms. Oberlander from leaving the state with the child. Ms. Oberlander did not provide any contact information and hid the child in Pennsylvania. The child’s location in Pennsylvania was discovered by Mr. Hower only after intensive investigative efforts and his return to Tennessee was accomplished only through emergency intervention of the Pennsylvania courts. On August 18th, 2005 the Chancery Court of Knox County, Tennessee awarded physical custody of the child to Mr. Hower, for the following reasons:

“1… for her [Ms. Oberlander’s] continued disregard for the orders of this court, including her failure to appear for the timely served Show Cause Order, the announced orders and subsequently entered Orders regarding co-parenting, the original order enjoining her from removing from the State of Tennessee and the order granting the Defendant temporary custody.
2. The mother failed and refused to provide the child for co-parenting time as ordered by this court and further has prevented any meaningful communication between the father and child. Mother’s disregard for the rights of the Father and her active attempts to sabotage any relationship between the father and the parties’ minor child are found to be material and substantial changes in circumstances warranting a modification of the co-parenting arrangement.”

Mr. Hower was to be given immediate physical custody of the child and Ms. Oberlander was ordered to pay child support in accordance with statute. Mr. Hower was explicitly authorized to travel with the child to any destination international or otherwise.

A copy of the August 18th, 2005 order is attached.

Ms. Oberlander, meanwhile, in an attempt to avoid the Tennessee Chancery Court’s jurisdiction, filed a “petition for emergency relief” in the Court of Common Pleas, Venango County, Pennsylvania (“The Pennsylvania Court”) asking that the Pennsylvania court assume jurisdiction. On August 19th, 2005 the Pennsylvania court deferred to the jurisdiction of Tennessee and ordered the mother:

“to transport Aarys Charles Oberlander-Hower, born June 5th, 1996, to a hearing to be scheduled by the Honorable Darryl R. Fansler, Chancellor of the Chancery Court for Knox County, Tennessee at Knoxville, Tennessee and submit to that court for a determination of custody” (copy attached).

On October 11th, 2005 the Tennessee Chancery Court held a hearing at which Ms. Oberlander appeared. After hearing from the parties the court reaffirmed its earlier ruling and found that:

“it is in the child’s best interests that he live with his Father.”

Ms. Oberlander did not appeal this order (copy attached.)

Throughout this period Mr. Hower’s primary residence was overseas, a fact of which all parties and the court was well aware.

In March 2006 the Tennessee Chancery Court ordered Ms. Oberlander to pay child support for Aarys retroactive from August 2005. Ms. Oberlander did not appeal this order either.

In the summer of 2006 Mr. Hower provided Aarys to Ms. Oberlander so that she could enjoy summer visitation with him. At the last minute, just before Aarys was to be returned to Mr. Hower, Ms. Oberlander exploited this opportunity to once again request that Pennsylvania assert jurisdiction over custody matters. Though the Pennsylvania court returned Aarys to Mr. Hower’s physical custody, it agreed to exercise jurisdiction as requested. The Pennsylvania court made this decision without conferring with or contacting the Tennessee court, in violation of Pennsylvania’s own UCCJEA requirements. The Pennsylvania court also made this decision despite the fact that at no time did Aarys reside in Pennsylvania except in violation of the Tennessee order prohibiting same, and certainly not for a period of six months preceding the issuance of the decision, and despite the earlier Pennsylvania order ceding jurisdiction to Tennessee and committing to follow the dictates of that court. Mr. Hower consistently denied Pennsylvania’s jurisdiction in the matter, and has retained custody of Aarys in accordance with the October ’05 Tennessee order, which is in full force and effect up to the present day and is entitled to full faith and credit throughout the United States. Mr. Hower did not participate in further proceedings in Pennsylvania except to attempt to appeal the Pennsylvania order regarding jurisdiction, but the order was deemed to be un-appealable because it was interlocutory.

Ms. Oberlander filed an administrative appeal in Tennessee regarding her passport denial for non payment of child support, claiming she did not earn the income imputed to her and in this she recognized Tennessee’s jurisdiction. Her appeal was denied.

Ms. Oberlander continues to do everything she can to interfere with the lawful exercise of Mr. Hower’s custodial rights over Aarys, applying to every organization (the FBI, NCMEC, the US State Department etc.) except the one body familiar with the entirety of the circumstances and possibly authorized to modify the October ‘05 custody order: the Tennessee Chancery Court.

I should note that Mr. Hower has offered to make telephone contact with Aarys possible for Ms. Oberlander, but she does not have a telephone, or at least not one she was willing to provide to Mr. Hower’s Pennsylvania attorney. Mr. Hower is also concerned that Ms. Oberlander will exploit any information provided to her concerning their whereabouts in order to harass them as she has in the past.

The characterization of this situation as one in which the Aarys was abducted or that his presence abroad with his father is unlawful in any sense is false and damaging. I understand of course that you most likely were not provided with the full range of facts necessary to make this determination, but now that you have been I would request that NCMEC remove the posting from its website, update other agencies it may have alerted to this case, and advise Ms. Oberlander to seek her remedies through appropriate judicial channels rather than the misuse of organizations and entities reserved for true cases of child abduction.

Very truly yours,

Neil J. Saltzman, Esq.

Cc: W. Mynatt
B. Mountjoy