Nathan Slinkard’s story has been 18 years in the making. The dimply, 5-year-old blonde haired boy had been missing, along with his sister and brother, since October 1995. The children’s mother, Trena Slinkard, took the children and fled Greenfield, a city about 20 miles east of Indianapolis, and never returned them.
Now, according to a report from The Associated Press on Feb. 4, Nathan, now 23 years old, has been reunited with his father after turning himself in at the United States Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Steven and Trena Slinkard battled for custody of their three children in the mid 90s. Steven won custody of all three, but Trena took Nathan, his 3-year-old sister Sydney and his older, 7-year-old brother Nathan, and left. Steven never saw them again.
Hancock County Sheriff’s Lt. Ted Munden, the investigator who closed the case as unresolved, was shocked that the boy, now a man, returned home – a rare and happy conclusion in a field of work where success rates are small.
Investigators believe Trena had taken the children to Mexico, but the case went cold.
Munden said Nathan hasn’t divulged the locations of his siblings, but confirmed they are all alive, healthy, and not being held under duress. Munden said Andrew and Sydney apparently know they are free to return to the U.S. if they so choose.
“He's staying with Dad right now,” Munden said of Nathan on Tuesday. “He's a good kid, lots of ambitions.” The family has asked for privacy as they try to make up for nearly two decades lost.
Steven Slinkard was nervous before picking up his son at the airport in Indianapolis. According to Munden, Steven asked, “What do I do? Do I shake his hand or give him a hug?”
Munden replied, “You will know when you see him.”