How To Kidnap Your Children And Get Away With It

by James J. Keene PhD

1. Take the Children Using Deception as Necessary

The children of Dr. James Keene were kidnapped eight years ago, on Feb. 1, 1995. His children - a then ten year old girl and a seven year old boy -- have been concealed, detained and abused in New Jersey and Puerto Rico by the abductor and her childless sister and brothers.

"I cannot describe what it is to come home from work one day and find my beloved children are gone, perhaps for ever," Dr. Keene said.

Is this just another sad case? Hardly. The abductor is a medical doctor and psychiatrist, who has a history of mental and emotional illnesses growing worse over several decades.

2. Two Kilos of Cocaine More Important Than a Child

The children, Grace and James Keene, have since been repeatedly hidden in New Jersey and Puerto Rico. The police in New Jersey and Puerto Rico, the FBI in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Departments of Justice and State in Washington, DC, and the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico have all been petitioned for help, all to no avail. An Assistant U.S. District Attorney told Dr. Keene that nothing could be done because their order from the Department of Justice was, "It must be over four kilos of cocaine."

"By my math," Dr. Keene said, "each child is worth less than two kilos of cocaine." It does not seem to matter that Dr. Keene, the father, is a U.S. citizen and had sole and full custody of the children prior to the abduction.

3. Don't Worry That Police Will Obey the Law Themselves

In July, 1995, Dr. Keene filed missing persons reports for each "abducted child for investigation and entry into the NCIC computer." The police in Willingboro, New Jersey, refused in writing to investigate. The police in San Juan, Puerto Rico, ignored the reports and told Dr. Keene they were "filed." Welcome to the federal law -- the National Child Search Assistance Act -- which requires police to investigate immediately reports of missing children. "The police have clearly violated the law," Dr. Keene said, and perhaps should be sued.

4. Don't Worry About the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act

"Amazingly," Dr. Keene said, "authorities have yet to act to recover my children. Meanwhile, my children are in peril. Among other things, the abductor is suicidal with a history of psychiatric care. My grief, hopelessness and despair is not less because the abductor is the biological mother of the children." Welcome to the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, a law which seems to be ignored in this case.

Dr. Keene was Professor of Neuroscience at Ross University School of Medicine on the Caribbean island nation of Dominica, from which his children were initially abducted. "Dominica is more civilized than the United States, because authorities there quickly responded to this cruel and heartless crime," he said.

5. Ignore Court Orders to Appear With the Children

On June 28, 1995, following the advice of the FBI, Dr. Keene petitioned the High Court of Justice, Commonwealth of Dominica. This court issued Court Order 45, 1995, No. 240, a Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum, directing Nilda Keene, the abductor, to produce the abducted children to the High Court on July 26, 1995, along with the "cause of their being taken and detained."

On July 26, 1995, failing to respond to this Court Order -- the Writ of Habeas Corpus and Notice, served to her in both New Jersey and Puerto Rico, Nilda Keene did not appear with the children at the High Court. As a result, the High Court ordered a warrant to be issued for her arrest. Instead of appearing in this "home state" court, on that same day, the abductor filed an outrageous lawsuit in the local court (Tribunal Superior) in Guayama, Puerto Rico, the jurisdiction to which the children were initially abducted!

"In February, 1996, the abductor dropped this case when it was apparent she had presented a number of falsehoods to the local court," Dr. Keene said. "It was absurd. In essence, the kidnapper was asking the court to approve of her kidnapping."

6. Serial Child Abduction Can Be a Useful Tool

The children were also abducted from Puerto Rico to New Jersey and later from New Jersey to Puerto Rico. "Call it serial abduction," Dr. Keene added. As stated above, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act can be safely ignored.

"For seven years, the abductors have successfully evaded the law," he said. "They have stolen from me and my two children something they never can return -- my raising of my children and their home and parent."

7. U.S. Courts Don't Do What the U.S. Asks Foreign Courts To Do

In Puerto Rico, FBI Special Agent Raymond Lopez told Dr. Keene that the FBI needed a U.S. court "pick-up" order, so that the abducted children may be recovered to his lawful custody. Thus, in November, 1995, attorneys Vargas & Ramirez (1-787-751-7485, fax 1-787-250-6434) filed a "Petition For Return of Children Pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and/or the Federal Parental Kidnapping Act," in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico with Federal Judge Hector La Fitte (Case 95-2426 HL).

"Although there is the utmost urgency in this case, " Dr. Keene said, "Judge La Fitte was speechless for almost a year! Finally, Judge La Fitte basically asserted that child abduction from a foreign country to the U.S. essentially renders the victim parent a non-entity." Thus, foreign courts can now cite the Nilda Keene Case to show that the U.S. does not show good faith in entreaties to foreign courts to honor U.S. court orders regarding kidnapped children.

At this point, in 1997, Dr. Keene was allowed by his attorneys to go to the media, as recommended in the 'Family Abduction' manual by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"I'm concerned," he said, "because the kidnappers may run and hide the children if they are located, as they have already done many times."

8. Use Perjury in Hometown Court Where Childhood Friends Now Work

In 1998, "As further evidence that Nilda Keene succeeded in evading the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, contrary to that Act, her hometown court, in Guayama, Puerto Rico, was right there to please," Dr. Keene said. "A major dose of perjury, demonstrable from a sworn statement by Nilda Keene, falsehoods in documents submitted as evidence to the court and childhood friends in the small-town courthouse were more than enough to defraud that court. I was not allowed due process, to present evidence or witnesses or to confront my "accuser". In this Guayama "Superior" court, the victim parent did not have constitutional rights."

Of course, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act specifically and clearly states that the court in the jurisdiction to which the children are abducted does not have jurisdiction in such cases. But since when does federal law matter? The Davis-Flores gang presumably has access to both cash and cocaine to smooth over any rough spots regarding perjury, the constitution and the law.

Father Offers Reward for Missing Children

Recently, the grandmother of the children passed away and left a modest inheritance for the children. Their uncle is executor of the estate and has also been trying to locate these children. Dr. Keene has offered a reward to anyone who can locate the missing children.

Father's Own Internet Investigation Produces Excellent Leads

In April, 2002, the missing children were traced to Willingboro, NJ, probably to the residence of the abductor's brother, Pedro Davis-Flores, 29 Neptune Lane, Willingboro, NJ 08046-1312. The phone company reports Nilda has the same unlisted phone number as Mr. Davis-Flores.

Official records in New Jersey and Maryland show the mother (Dr. Keene's ex-wife) has used her married name, Nilda Keene. The American Medical Association lists Nilda Keene as "INACTIVE." The Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance lists "Nilda M Keene, License Status, NONRENEWED."

The Burlington County Library recently exhibited art by "Grace and James Keene" during April, as reported on their web page. The children are not enrolled in the Willingboro High School.

Given the serial abductions to and from New Jersey and Puerto Rico, Dr. Keene also provides leads for investigation in Puerto Rico. The sister, other brothers and a cousin of Nilda are:

Ana Rosa Davis-Flores, Calle Nueva #18, Box 253, Patillas, PR 00723, Phone: 787-839-3046
Paul Davis-Flores, Calle Nueva, Patillas, PR 00723, Phone: 787-839-6974
Jose Antonio Davis-Flores, Rio Piedras, PR, Phone: 787-761-2829
Luis Davis-Flores, Calle 9, Bloque F-29, Cupey Gardens, Rio Piedras, PR, Phone: 787-755-3448
Migdoel Vazquez-Davis, M.D., P.O. Box 1319, Patillas, PR 00723
Hospital Lafayette, Box 207, Carr 753 Km 0.2 Bo More, Arroyo, Puerto Rico 00714, Phone: 787-839-3232

Dr. Keene Cites Inadequate Child Care

According to Dr. Keene, the abductor, Nilda Keene (maiden name Davis-Flores), and her childless sister, Ana Davis-Flores, over 50 years old, both are incompetent to care for his abducted children, which adds to the abuse.

After the marriage and up to the present, Nilda Keene showed gradually increasing signs of emotional and mental instability, as evidenced, for example, by repeated inability to work or difficulties in work in the practice of her profession as a M.D. There is a history over years of recurring periods of mild to moderate depression; of frequent anxiety attacks with tachycardia, shortness of breath and sweating; of hysterical outbursts of screaming and weeping with delusional ideation; of suicidal ideation; of frequent nightmares where dreadful moaning and louder whines of terror can be heard throughout the house; of periods of confusion and memory loss; of various delusions and multiple phobias; and of psychiatric care.

As for Ana Davis-Flores, she is the self-styled second primary care-giver and co-abductor. She detained Dr. Keene's children in her home in Patillas, Puerto Rico, and would not even speak to the victim parent on the phone. "My son tried to call me collect, and after a few seconds of conversation, the abductor took the phone, spoke some nonsense and hung up," Dr. Keene said.


"My purpose in telling this story," Dr. Keene said, "is not to cause harm to the abductor mother. My purpose is to be able to have free interaction and communication with my children and perhaps to educate the public about issues regarding parent and child rights. The question remains: why have none of the Davis-Flores clan been prosecuted for their violations of the law?"

In short, the case of Nilda Keene may become a classic on how to commit international kidnapping and then serial child abduction in the U.S. and get away with it, with the rights of the victim parent and children totally ignored.

How? First, kidnap children while outside of the U.S. Second, depend on authorities in the U.S. to disobey or ignore the law.

Postscript added Apr 15, 2003

Families living abroad in many countries are at risk with the Nilda Keene case. There may be thousands of U.S. families at risk where a spouse works or serves in the U.S. military abroad. All a spouse has to do is to travel back to the U.S. with children and the victim parent left behind instantly has lost all rights as parent, according to a U.S. Federal Court. The abducting parent may then act as if the victim parent does not even exist, and with full backing of an unexpected friend -- the U.S. judicial system.

And there is more good news for kidnappers in the Nilda Keene case. If the parental abductor has outward social status, all interstate kidnapping laws will be ignored. So the advice is: get that college degree first and you won't be prosecuted for kidnapping, perjury, child abuse and perhaps many other offenses. Just cite the Nilda Keene case as a precedent: "If she can do it, why can't I?"

Author: Dr. James J. Keene PhD, c/o Ross University School of Medicine, PO Box 266, Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica, Windward Islands, email:

This moving, multi-faceted story evokes a wide variety of emotions and issues. These headlines suggest the range of surprising themes and angles in this ongoing, true story:

How To Kidnap Your Children And Get Away With It

Police Violate Law By Refusing To Look For Missing Children

Police Ignore Missing Persons Reports For Children

Children Can Be Abducted In The U.S. And Parents Have No Remedy

By Act Of Omission,
U.S. District Court Says "So What" To Kidnap Victim and/or
U.S. District Court Says "Yes" To Kidnappers

U.S. Federal Attorney To Kidnap Victim: "So What"

Childless Sister And Brothers Make Child Kidnapping Look Easy

For Victim Parents In Family Abduction In The U.S.
Their Own Government Acts As A Foreign Country

U.S. Ignores Foreign Court Order Showing Bad Faith
In International Child Abduction Agreements

Further background documents are "Personal and Family History" of the abductor, "Chronology", "Missing Persons Reports", correspondence to police departments, the FBI, the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Departments of Justice and State, etc.

NOTE TO EDITOR: Do check whether you want to publish addresses and phones.

Copyright © 1996-2003 James J. Keene
Original Publication: Nov 7, 1996

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