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#83198 03/30/04 06:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
Bobber Offline OP
OP Offline
The boy they called Jake seemed happy and in good health, even though he was the only child hanging around at the Coconut Caribbean Hotel in Belize's Ambergris Caye.

His father was friendly, even taking time to recommend elk hunting adventures in Texas to some Minnesota tourists.

But Barb Quinlan, an Oak Park Heights resident vacationing in Belize with her fiancé in January, had a feeling something was wrong.

"It was kind of bizarre," she said. "Maybe it's motherly instinct; you just kind of know these things."

Her instinct was right.

David Clenney has been charged with abducting Jake, 4, on July 26, and taking him to Belize via Cancun, Mexico, allegedly using forged documents. Because of Quinlan's suspicions -- and some crafty photography -- Jake Clenney was reunited Thursday with his mother, Heather Clenney in Belize.

The snapshot that helped authorities find a missing childCourtesy Of Barb Quinlan
Mother and son returned home to San Angelo,Texas, on Friday.

Jacob Clenney "is right back at it, playing with his sister and acting like he never left," said his mother, who called Quinlan on Monday to thank her for finding the boy.

Special Agent Bill Endorf of the San Angelo FBI office accompanied Heather Clenney to Belize and arrested her former husband, who made his first appearance Monday in Tom Green District Court in San Angelo on charges of international parental kidnapping. He has not yet been appointed an attorney, Endorf said.

Barb QuinlanJeff WheelerStar Tribune
"Barbara is the real hero in this case," Endorf said. "If not for her, this kid doesn't see his mother again, maybe ever."

David and Heather Clenney were divorcing. Under court orders, Jake lived with each parent for two weeks at a time, an arrangement that seemed to work until the boy and his father disappeared.

"Relations were pretty good and everything," Heather Clenney said. "I had no clue he was planning to take him."

But Endorf said the plan must have been in the works long enough for David Clenney to allegedly forge a passport and documents that appeared to give him permission to leave the country with the child.

They disappeared in late July or August, and Heather Clenney hadn't heard a word from them since. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children put pictures of Jake and David Clenney on its Web site (, and it noted that the two might be in Dallas or Kansas City.

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
#83199 03/30/04 07:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,059
OMG, one person can make a huge difference.

Thanks for sharing.

Dare To Deviate
#83200 03/31/04 08:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 346
Isn't it great to hear about the great things people do such as this when often enough the stories we hear about missing children are so grim...thanks for sharing...Bobber laugh

#83201 03/31/04 11:32 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 88
this story leaves out an important detail: what did the woman, barb, DO with the photo of the boy? who did she show it to, leading to the arrest and return of the child to his mother???

just curious

#83202 03/31/04 11:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 915
Maybe you saw them all interviewed on the morning shows today. The woman came back to the US and looked at a website for missing and exploited children where the boy's picture was posted. Then she contacted the authorities who stepped in on the matter. Problem solved.

#83203 03/31/04 11:43 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 6,251
I'm glad you asked this question.
I have my own thoughts, too.

There is a lot more to this story than we will ever know, I am sure !

#83204 03/31/04 11:44 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 6,251
Oh.. smile
We typed at the same time.

#83205 03/31/04 02:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,059
The more I ponder this, I have to say Barb Quinlan's quick wit and actions are truly commendable. Can't imagine, how anxious she had to have been, waiting to check out that picture of the boy. Then knowing it was him, OMG, stress times a billion.

Barb can watch my back anytime.......what a heroine.

God puts the right person in the right place at the right time.

Dare To Deviate
#83206 04/01/04 01:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 7,059
What joyous feeling at WALMART this AM.

I look at the missing kids pictures often, that are displayed at the entry doors.

Today........oh yeah, right up on top was Jake's and daddy David's pictures. IT FELT SO JOYOUS TO KNOW THEY WERE FOUND, AND JAKE IS SAFE.

Dare To Deviate
#83207 04/01/04 01:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 209
KBG Offline
This news story got a lot of regional coverage in the South (US) with some nice photos of San Pedro to accompany it. Good press for Belize. KBG

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