The day was a disappointing one for Roy Koyama. The Missouri man has been waging a battle to recover his young daughter who came to Costa Rica with her mother. And he thought he had firm plans.
Koyama reports that he is the first person to receive a judicial decree here based on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
He said last night from his Springfield, Missouri home that he even had plane tickets purchased for the daughter, Emily Alina Koyama, and an escort appointed by the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the Costa Rican child welfare agency.
He was convinced that his former girlfriend, Trina Atwell Chavarria, had exhausted her judicial remedies.
“We’re making history and changing the world view on this crime,” he said Monday.
The only item missing Tuesday was the child. Koyama was under the impression that the local courts and the child welfare agency had the situation well in hand.
The girlfriend is another of those non-custodial parents who fled a U.S. jurisdiction with her child. She said she took the baby, Emily Alina Koyama, then 7 months, because her boyfriend was abusive.
She said on a Web site: “We came to Costa Rica for safety. I had tried before to get away from Roy, but he always found me, and always talked me back. But when the abuse became more then emotional, verbal and patrimonial, when it started becoming physical and sexual abuse I knew I had to run.”
A Green County, Missouri, court judge granted Koyama sole custody, but the mother claims she never was served and was unaware of the suit. On a Facebook page she accuses Koyama of drug use, all kinds of abuse, including sexual, and violence. She had a sister in Costa Rica, which is why she came here.
She fled Missouri Feb 9, 2009. Koyama has been persistent in trying to find her and the daughter and in pressing his judicial case.
Both Koyama and Ms. Chavarría have been soliciting funds online. Koyama just finished raising the money needed for the American Airlines tickets.