I remember about over 10 years ago when Michael Smith contacted the Editors of the Children of the Underground Watch as well as a San Francisco Chronicle Reporter. At that time, Michael like other Searching Parents, Left Behind Parents, Victim Parents of a Family Abduction was trying to do everything possible to find his children. At that time, there were no leads other than Faye Yager’s Children of the Underground Cult or Group was involved. It didn’t help Michael’s situation that you had other custodial embattled mothers like: Bonnie Rubenstein, April Meyer, Ellen Dever, Bonnie Morton in the news (Dateline, 48 Hours, The Leeza Show, Pittsburgh Post Gazette as the Media exploited these Narcissistic Abductors). Unlike those cases, Ellen Stratton simply disappeared and was never heard from again as well Dorothy Barnett who abducted Harris Todd’s child, who is still missing.
One thing all of these cases have in common is that the Underground Mothers all claimed the same thing, the “Necessity Defense”, they fled because they fled out of “necessity” because they didn’t believe the Family Court System would give the sole custody of their children. In each of these cases, at the times when our Child Protective Services Organizations were being accused of sometimes being too overzealous in the investigations of child abuse claims by divorcing mothers, none of these mothers even waited around for the results of an investigation, they simply called up Faye Yager, played Judge, Jury and Executioner in Faye Yager’s Court and fled underground. At the time, some of these organizations were funded by our country’s Domestic Violence and Child Abuse government funds as proclaimed Child Protectionists or so called “Protective Parents” tried to carve out a industry niche for the Defense Attorneys and Expert Witnesses for future criminal trials and prosecutions of the abducting mother who was clearly breaking the law.
It’s children like Zachary Smith and Chelsea Smith who probably lived underground in a foreign country, maybe even knew April Meyer’s daughter Amanda who traveled in Europe as the babysitter to Bonnie Rubenstein before she was arrested. As Elizabeth Stratton moved from one boy friend to the next, maybe even married several times when underground, Zachary and Chelsea were probably told their dad was horrible person using the blue print set by Dr. Elizabeth Morgan. They probably didn’t have a bad life, but certainly not the life that Michael Smith could have provided in Walnut Creek, California.
Of all the cases we know of, nobody even April Meyer ever writes a book, tells the world about The Children of the Underground Cult or Group. We never hear the identity of the Safe House Home Owners, Organizations such as the National Association of Protective Parents in Trenton, New Jersey, Faye Yager’s or Amy Neustein’s exact involvement in these cases. It’s as if a secret ritual or sworn oath is taken before entrance to the Children of the Underground with serious consequences for the Discloser.
It’s time recovered Adult Children such as Zachary Smith or Chelsea Smith man or woman up and provide us with their stories of how Abductor Elizabeth Stratton was able to stay in hiding for so long. It’s time they stepped up and gave searching parents like Harris Todd (Savannah Todd) some new hope for reunification.
Our heart goes out to Michael Smith, Zachary and Chelsea as hopefully they will find a new beginning to their life as a family.
To Abductor Elizabeth Stratton, we hope you are arrested and sentenced to prison where you rightfully belong. There is never an excuse or a “Necessity Defense” in a Family Abduction Case, you had plenty of reasonable alternatives despite any stresses of a messy divorce. The day you made the decision to go underground with these children, you significantly altered the life of everyone involved and it’s time you took ownership of the consequences of that decision.