Father Kidnapped His Daughter and Fled to Egypt
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – United States Attorney R. Andrew Murray announced today that Divett Lidrell Mays, 46, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for kidnapping his daughter and fleeing to Egypt. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. also sentenced Mays to three years of supervised release after he is released from prison.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, joins U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, on May 26, 2011, Mays picked up his seven-year-old daughter, K.M., from her mother’s Charlotte home for a custodial visit. Mays and K.M.’s mother had agreed that he could take her to Atlanta for the weekend and that he would return K.M. to Charlotte on either May 29 or 30, 2011. According to court records, Mays did not return K.M. to Charlotte as agreed. Instead, without the permission or knowledge of K.M.’s mother, Mays purchased plane tickets and flew with K.M. to Egypt.
Court records show that K.M. and Mays departed the United States on May 30, 2011, and arrived in Egypt on June 1, 2011. Mays retained K.M in Egypt until December 2014, when she was reunited with her mother through an FBI/U.S. State Department ruse and returned to the United States. Around May 2017, Egyptian authorities realized that Mays, a U.S. citizen, had no immigration status in Egypt and that he had outstanding charges in the U.S., so they facilitated Mays’ removal to the United States.
According to court records, in order for K.M. to travel from the U.S. to Egypt, she needed a passport, which Mays obtained by fraud. Over the course of the investigation, it was determined that on August 17, 2010, Mays went to a U.S. Post Office in Fulton County, Georgia, and submitted a signed and notarized two-parent consent form along with the passport application for K.M. The investigation further revealed that the application contained false information and a forged signature for K.M.’s mother on the parental consent form. The passport was later issued, and Mays used the fraudulently obtained passport to transport K.M. to Egypt. K.M.’s mother did not give consent for Mays to obtain a passport for K.M.
Mays is currently in federal custody. He will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray commended the FBI for their work on this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimlani Ford, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.
Editor’s Note: We applaud the efforts of the U.S. Kimlani Ford of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, NC, the FBI and the State Department for reunifying this kidnapped child with their custodial parent and prosecuting the parental kidnapper in this case.