Four and half year old Fela Colbert has gone missing, and her father, Steve, is desperately trying to find out what happened. Colbert says when he went to pick Fela up from her mother, Deanna Lane, at the end of January at their weekly exchange location — the Eugene downtown public library — neither Fela nor her mother was there.
Colbert says he and Lane have joint parenting of Fela, but her mother has sole custody. Colbert says that in Oregon parents can get joint custody only if both parents agree to it. If one parent objects, the courts don’t give joint custody.
Colbert says the fact that Fela’s mother has custody has made it difficult for him to get help from law enforcement in tracking his daughter down. He says he is worried not just about his daughter, but about Lane. When he went to their house to find them, he says the landlord told him Lane had walked away with just a suitcase and left all her other belongings behind. She told the landlord she was moving because she felt threatened. Colbert says it’s not just that his daughter is missing, with her mother gone too, it’s a “missing persons problem.”
“It’s a child, ” he says, “If there’s a 4 1/2-year-old girl missing, you do everything you can to find her.” And he says under the agreements made through the courts, Lane is supposed to give 30 days notice if she moves, and Colbert the same, “even if you are just moving into the house next door.”
Colbert says he has filed a report with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and talked to the police. He doesn’t know where his daughter is and is frantic to find her.
For more information or to see where report a sighting, go to the Facebook page.
Fela Khepri Colbert