Man goes to pick up his two children from school and finds out they have been missing for three days. Three years passed by without any trace but he never gave up on them.
And then three years later he hears a knock on his door.
Christmas is the most beautiful and happiest day for many people, especially children. They wait for the entire year for this special day to come, waiting to open their stockings to see what Santa has given them.
The day is always greeted with excitement, and that is exactly how Harry Speath felt when he saw his gifts waiting for him at his doorstep.
It was not like any other gift one can ever expect and definitely not what Harry had expected. But nevertheless, it was something he had been praying for years.
It was his children who had vanished without a trace three years ago, and no amount of searching had turned up any leads for him or the police.
Harry Speath was a single father to his two children, Serena and Thomas. He had been a proud parent who adored and catered to his children passionately.
In December 2014, he went to pick up the pair at their school only to learn that they had gone missing. He had waited for them by the school gate for a long time, but it quickly became clear that they would not join him.
Harry asked around about his kids, from the parents of other kids to the school authorities. He was informed that they had not attended school for the past three days.
That was the start of a gruelling search and a long-lasting nightmare that lasted years.
The last time the doting father saw his two children, they were with their mother, who used to be his wife. This terrified him because his wife had dual citizenship in Europe.
There was a huge possibility that she might have taken the kids and fled the country.
His life was quickly turned upside down, and he began directing all of his energies toward finding his two children. He hired professionals, set up a Facebook page to seek help, and went all over the country in the hopes of uncovering a trail that would lead to them.
However, all he found were dead ends.
Serena and Thomas had not been enrolled in new schools, nor had their medicare cards been used. It seemed like the kids have vanished into thin air.
It was a trying time in his life, but Harry never gave up.
As time passed, Harry began to lose faith. His search had yielded no results. Soon his finances depleted and he did not have enough money to continue searching.
His life gradually lost all color tracking hopelessly for his missing kids.
Christmas was depressing, and his birthday left him feeling like a failure because he couldn’t find Serena and Thomas. Nonetheless, on International Missing Children’s Day each year, Harry would light candles for his two children.
He still had hopes that someday they would find their way back home.
Before he realized it, three years had passed without any change. His hopes diminished further. But then something happened that reignited his hope for finding his kids again.
In May 2017, US experts created a photo alteration that showed the bodily changes that must have occurred to Serena and Thomas during their three-year absence.
The modified photos of the kids were broadcasted on national television. It renewed the hopes and efforts to find the two children.
Then, on the anniversary of their abduction, Harry posted an emotional homage to his children on Facebook.
In it, he stated confidently that the children had been taken and revealed that he hadn’t seen or heard from them in three years. He wrote, “It’s been three sets of birthdays (both theirs and mine), Christmases, Easters, Father’s Days, three years’ worth of holidays…”
“In the meantime. I love you both very, very much. I’m sending you guys many, many, many hugs & kisses across the miles between us, no matter how far.”
As time passed, Harry began to worry that he might never see his children again, and he became increasingly anxious about their health and well-being.
He’d almost come to terms with the reality that he’d have to spend another Christmas without them when he heard a knock on the door.
Harry opened the door and was stunned to see the people standing in front of him. It was the Australian Federal Police. Next to them were two kids. His kids.
They were discovered with their mother in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, some 150 kilometres from where they had gone missing years previously.
In a statement, the AFP said: “Officers yesterday located and recovered parentally abducted siblings Serena and Thomas Speath in Queensland after a three-year investigation.
“The siblings had been missing since December 2014 and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia issued a recovery order in 2015. Police enquiries lead to the recovery of the siblings yesterday morning. The AFP would like to thank the public and media for their continued interest and support in the matter.”
The mother of the two kids was found accused of ‘parentally abduction.” She was taken to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia where she will stand a trial.
The mother had apparently abducted the kids from the school and went into hiding three years ago.
The then acting commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Debbie Platz calls this a growing problem in the country. “Because of the climate that we live in and the extraordinary stress that many families are under, we are seeing a rise in parental abduction cases of children,” she said today.
Investigations of such cases are incredibly difficult.
She continues, “What makes them complicated is that the parent who takes the child will often be travelling, have high mobility, they might change the child’s appearance, their name, the children are constantly changing schools.”
This leaves a detrimental effect on the growth of the child since they are cut off from society and are not allowed to make friends. This makes it a lot harder to track the children.
For Harry, it was the best Christmas present he had ever gotten, and his life was suddenly great again.
His story shows the importance of never giving up, especially while fighting for the people you care about.