A Texas girl who was abducted by her former model mother at the age of 11 and missing for six years has been found. Penelope Inks had been taken across different states by her mother, who used a number of aliases in order to hide her identity and escaped being caught. Penelope was found on April 3 in a motel merely two hours away from the family's house in Madisonville from where she had disappeared. The mother, Heather Inks, 37, was also caught. Penelope was in an emaciated state as she had survived only on Dr. Peppers and candy, weighing only 74 lbs. When she was found, the girl was scared and did not know whom to trust, authorities said. Penelope's father, Kevin Inks, and his wife Heather decided to file for divorce in 2012 and a bitter custody battle for their daughter ensued.
The girl's mother was first given custody of the child but according to Kevin, she did not allow him to visit his child as per the court rules. She had also earlier abducted the girl from Kevin's house in 2014 and for this had been charged with interference with child custody. In view of her regularly flouting court orders, the sole custody of her child was given to the father, and just when she was set to appear in court on the matter in October 2014, she went incommunicado. The next six years were filled with agony for the father. Investigations were carried out by multiple agencies that also went international. Even the FBI got involved in the matter and Heather made it on their wanted list as being 'armed and dangerous,' according to The Daily Beast. Kevin on his part also hired a private investigator. Klein Investigators. In 2016, he had even put up a video where he asked his daughter to appeal to come home and ask for help.
Heather' undoing was a call she made to Madisonville Police Department, telling them that her 'ex-husband was trying to poison her.' She asked officers to come to the Days Inn and Suites, where she was staying. Heather used one of her fake identities that matched with the name in the database of her other fake aliases. Authorities soon figured that the call was made by her. "Officers responded to the hotel and started questioning the people there,” a police spokesperson said, while adding that she first gave her fake identity but when pressed further, she finally gave in and revealed who she truly was. The spokesperson said, “so, in the system, it came back as her and show (ed) she had an active warrant.” according to a press released by the private investigation firm.
“Officials made access to another motel and discovered Penelope in the room,” and added that “Penelope was found in an emaciated state.” She was then taken to a local hospital for treatment. “As you can assume, we are very emotional right now and many details of the capture of my ex-wife and my daughter are yet to come out,” Kevin said, while adding that “my daughter is not in a mental or physical state to handle any more stress” and therefore needed privacy. According to ABC13, Philip Klein from the investigation firm released a statement where he said finding the daughter was "Relief for the father. Relief for the child, that she doesn't have to run all over the United States with a mother who, at best is a criminal, at worst is an animal."
Kevin and his wife had even appeared on Dr. Phil in 2008 where they had discussed their domestic issues. Heather had accused her husband of abusing her in front of their child. “I am devastated by everything my daughter has seen. Penelope witnesses Kevin being abusive to me all the time, because she’s with me all the time,” Heather had said on the show. Heather added Kevin had once picked “her up by the neck” and held her at knifepoint in front of their child. While Kevin admitted that he had anger problems, he said his wife never allowed her to be alone with his child, who was then just three years old.