As I drove up to the house, I noticed all the lights were off. It’s 10:30 at night. As soon as my truck got to the driveway, the sensor should have triggered and illuminated the front of the house. It’s telenovela time for Maria Guadalupe Tenorio Toledano (AKA Lupita Tenorio, Marsha Tenorio). From the driveway I should see the glow of the TV through the windows. There was nothing but darkness. Something was horribly wrong. My mind went to the worst place.

Monday November 10, 2008 started off like any other day. Before my drive up to Los Angeles for the day on business, I made Samantha’s favorite breakfast. Blueberry pancakes with bacon. The smell of fresh brewed coffee already permeated the house.

An alarm goes off in Samantha’s room. Within a couple minutes Samantha pops out. Pajamas still on walking up the stairs to see what I was cooking in the kitchen. She enters the kitchen with her trademark Sammy smile. Samantha was always happy to help me make breakfast.

Before Samantha could reach me, Maria Guadalupe grabs Samantha’s hand and her backpack and whisks out the door and into the car.

At the time, I thought that was a little odd. It’s not like anyone was late for anything. Samantha was 2½ years old at the time.

Samantha complained a little bit as she reached for me. But Maria Guadalupe said they would be right back. I stood in the window and watched as you all drove away, stopping one last time so you could blow me kisses with your trademark smile that stretched from ear to ear.

Little did I know that this would be the last time I would see Samantha in almost a year.

Adriana Coronel Tenorio (AKA Adriana Howitt Coronel, Ari Coronel, Ari Coronel Tenorio, Ari Howitt, Ari Howitt Coronel) and Maria Guadalupe knew my schedule. They had this all planned out. I had to go to Los Angeles on business for the day. By the time I got home that night it was late, its 10:30PM. Samantha would have been in bed by then, but everyone else always kept late hours. Yet there were no lights on anywhere.

As I got out of my truck, engine still running with the headlights on, my heart sank into my stomach. I knew something was terribly wrong. As soon as I walked in the front door and saw the living room was completely empty, I ran throughout the house to see if anyone was there. Screaming Samantha’s name over and over again to see if she was left behind. As described by the neighbors when they came over to see what was going on, screams made by someone who was so broken up and in such a state of shock that I could not even cry properly. There was no way I could prepare myself for the reality that was unfolding right in front of me. I started shaking uncontrollably as I stood in the middle of my now empty master bedroom.

Then it dawned on me. What if someone was waiting for me in the house? I figured the fact I was still standing there was a good sign.

“Brian! Brian! Brian!” One of the neighbors shouted as he cautiously entered the front doorway. “Brian, are you OK?!?!” I stood silent. While I recognized the voice, I was not sure what to think or expect. It was not until I heard the police sirens in front of the house when I finally realized I would survive this night.

Law enforcement knew right away what we were dealing with. They combed every inch of the house for leads. Which there was plenty. By the time the sun rose the next morning, it was clear what happened. Adriana and Maria Guadalupe abducted Samantha from right under my nose. To make matters worse, they had stolen everything out of my house.

And I mean everything.

As we would come to find out later, Adriana and Maria Guadalupe were in a hurry. They were worried about me driving up on them in the middle of this. Understandably so. In their haste, they left behind clues. Clues that would help us locate them within the next 2-months.

One of the best decisions I have made is keeping a journal documenting this situation. Updating it in real time. I did not do this to bash Adriana. I did this because I instinctively knew I would have to explain this to Samantha some day. What I did not know was that the chaos would never end. Even after Adriana lost not one but two Supreme Court decisions, the hostility and violence Samantha witnessed against me at the hands of Adriana, Adriana’s family and friends only escalated.

My response? This website. Ever since this site launched in 2013, everyone involved with Samantha’s abduction has been scurrying around like cockroaches. Go figure.

Adriana and Maria Guadalupe are fugitives from the law. Adriana was arrested for Samantha’s abduction back in March 2, 2016. Days later Adriana made bail thanks to Danny Howitt (AKA Daniel Duncan Howitt, Elizabeth Farquhar Duncan, Kenneth Duncan). Against the advise of her own attorney, Adriana fled the country and has not been seen since.

Looking forward, The Wendy Samantha Foundation was founded in May 2017 with the goal of providing resources and support to victims of parental child abduction – both domestic and international. Inspired and motivated by the amount of effort and resources it takes to resolve parental child abduction cases, The Wendy Samantha Foundation’s founders felt a calling to assist other parents in similar situations.

Many children abducted by a parent are traumatized by the loss of their other parent and extended family left behind by the abduction. These children lose half of their identity as they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings, forced to live in a country where they may be unfamiliar with the language and culture. Abducted children are often lied to about why the left-behind parent is no longer a part of their lives. Child psychologists overwhelmingly label parental child abduction as a serious form of child abuse.

Left-behind parents and family members are emotionally and often times financially devastated by the loss of an abducted child. Government resources to assist them are limited and often ineffective which forces these families to fight legal battles on their own, at home and in the foreign country where their children were taken. This can be a daunting task given left-behind family members may not speak or read the language and have little to no support on the ground, and where the abducting parent often enjoys a legal advantage in the courts.

The Wendy Samantha Foundation’s efforts focus mainly on providing private counseling and support to left-behind parents and their family members, educating the public and lawmakers on the issue of parental child abduction, and advocating on behalf of victims of parental child abduction by raising awareness through the media and through various speaking engagements.

Thank you for the continued support.