ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A woman accused of kidnapping her children nearly two decades ago is back in New Mexico after being extradited from Great Britain.
Eileen Clark, 57, entered a not-guilty plea in federal court in Albuquerque on Monday, KRQE-TV (http://bit.ly/1oEclpC ) reported.
She had vanished with her children in 1995 from their Placitas home after her husband said he wanted a separation or divorce. The children were ages 7, 5 and 2 at the time.
A court battle resulting in her extradition began after authorities learned in 2008 she was in London. That occurred when one of the children told a doctor that he’d seen his own photo on a missing persons website.
Clark’s lawyer, David Foster, said his client was in an abusive relationship and thought she had to protect herself and her children.
Clark’s ex-husband, John Clark, denied any abuse and said he wants to be in his children’s lives.
A federal magistrate on Tuesday ruled that Clark wasn’t a danger to the community and ordered her released to a halfway house with electronic monitoring.
However, the release order was put on hold because of an appeal by federal prosecutors who argued that Clark was a flight risk and that the abuse claims were fabricated.
Clark’s attorneys said her children have graduated college since and still live in England.