Mother agrees to have Fox Point girl returned from Japan
MILWAUKEE - Nine-year-old Karina Garcia is at the center of an emotional, international battle between her parents. Her Fox Point father is fighting to bring his daughter back from Japan. The girl's mother refused to cooperate until now.
Sheriff's deputies hurried a handcuffed Emiko Inoue into a courtroom. This 43-year-old mother has been jailed in Milwaukee County for months. She faces charges for taking her daughter to Japan to keep the child from her ex-husband.
The father, Dr. Moises Garcia, had lunch with his daughter at her Fox Point elementary school nearly four years ago. That was the last time he saw her in this country, even though a Wisconsin court gave him custody.
"It's been a long fight," Garcia told reporters. "It's been hard."
Karina is now nine years old and is said to be living with her maternal grandparents in Japan.
After hours of behind the scenes negotiations Monday, Inoue agreed to have her daughter returned to the US within 30 days in exchange for getting out of jail. Inoue faced more than a decade in prison if convicted and could have missed the rest of her daughter's childhood.
"Now, we're hopefully with a resolution that will allow the child to be with her father and spend some time with her mother," said Bridget Boyle, the mother's attorney.
Observers from the Japanese government attended Tuesday's court proceedings. The case also attracted two California dads who are also fighting to bring their own children back from Japan.
Patrick Braden, whose daughter is in Japan, said the Japanese government does not seem willing to honor US custody rulings.
Garcia is thankful for Monday's agreement, but will worry until his daughter is back in his arms.
"She played all kinds of tricks in Japan and that's why I tell you, until she's back on American soil, I won't believe that this is true," Garcia said.
Details of the child's return to Wisconsin have not yet been determined.