A Pennsylvania mom rescued her kidnapped son in Egypt after searching for him for over a year. Kalli Atteya’s son Niko was kidnapped and kept in Egypt by her ex-husband Mohamed Atteya in August 2011.
Kalli and Niko traveled to Egypt to spend time with the Mohamed and his family. During the visit, Mohamed captured the 11-year-old boy and went into hiding.
Kalli was forced to leave Egypt without her son but vowed to return and find him. For over a year, Kalli spent nearly $100,000 trying to locate her missing child. As reported by Fox News, Mohamed is currently being sought by the US state Department for forging travel documents and obtaining a US Passport illegally.
Kalli and Mohamed were married in 1999, and their son Niko was born in 2000. Kalli believes Mohamed married her so he could obtain a green card.
Shortly after the birth of their son, the couple separated. In 2005, the couple finalized their divorce, and Mohamed moved to China for business purposes. Niko remained in the custody of his mother.
Mohamed eventually settled in his native Egypt. He contacted Kalli and asked her to bring Niko to meet and spend time with his family. Although she was hesitant, she eventually agreed as Mohamed’s mother was gravely ill. She states that she “didn’t want [her] to die without seeing her grandson.”
While in Egypt, Kalli recounts that she and Niko were traveling in a vehicle with her ex-husband and another family member. The driver stopped along the road, citing mechanical issues.
When Kalli exited the vehicle, the men drove away with Niko. It was nearly two years before she saw her son again.
As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, the Pennsylvania mom eventually returned to Egypt to rescue her kidnapped son. Kalli disguised herself in a hijab, which is a traditional Muslim garment that covers the head.
She spent months searching for Mohamed and Niko. When she eventually found them, she noted their daily routine so she could make a plan.
On March 14, Kalli waited at her son’s school for his bus to arrive. When she saw him get off the bus, she grabbed him and ran.
She immediately transported her son to the US Embassy. Kalli reports that her ex-husband subjected Niko to mental and physical abuse as he tried to convert him to the Muslim religion and culture. Kalli says that her son is very happy to be home.
Pennsylvania mom risked her life to rescue her kidnapped son in Egypt, but, for her and Niko, it was worth the risk.
[Image via Flickr]