Mom Extradition Delayed In NJ Custody Fight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A New Jersey father is in a desperate fight for his children he believes are thousands of miles away in South Korea. (Published Friday, Mar 5, 2010)

    A Korean woman fighting with her husband who lives in New Jersey over custody of their children will stay incarcerated in Guam longer than expected.

    Si Nae Shim was arrested in Guam last week on an outstanding warrant for her failure to bring the two children back to New Jersey for custody proceedings.

    Lawyers for Shim say she was supposed to be extradited on Friday but the process is taking longer than expected.

    "She calls us everyday, she's not sure what is going on," said Shim's attorney Christine Bae, who is trying to coordinate with officials in Guam to assist her client.

    Bae's husband, Alejandro Mendoza, says his wife took the children then disappeared into her native country of South Korea -- and the experience has bankrupted him emotionally and financially.

    "I suspect they are in Korea but I'm not sure," says Mendoza. "I'm losing my house.”

    Last week his wife Si Nae Shim flew from Korea to Guam and was arrested on a warrant for her failure to return the children to New Jersey.  

    "She wanted the children to speak Korean, only they didn't learn English," said Mendoza.

    Shim allegedly convinced Mendoza to move to a town south of Seoul. He says they were hurting financially so he returned to  America to wait for his family that never showed up.

    Shim tells the court and Korean authorities a much different story.                                                                                             

    "Mrs. Shim, the mother, was told by her 5-year-old son there was some type of sexual abuse by the father to the 2-year-old daughter," said Shim’s attorney Christine Bae.          

    Attorneys for Shim will provide the court with a South Korean psychiatric evaluation and a criminal report about the alleged incident. Both are dated nearly a month after Shim says she found out about the alleged sexual abuse.

    Mendoza denies the charge, asking why, if she believed it, his wife fled rather than show up in court to gain legal custody of the children.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           "Nobody contacted me. I don't think my client was contacted at all. So we were very puzzled why she was arrested in the beginning," said Bae.

    Shim plans on fighting the criminal charges. It's not clear if or when the children will return to the U.S. for the divorce and custody proceedings.

    Mendoza says his wife has allowed him to chat with his kids once a month through Skype, but he’s had no contact since his wife's arrest.

    He had this message for his son:

    "Wait for Daddy. Be patient. I'm doing the best I can. Help your sister. I'm coming."