The husband of a woman who fled New Hampshire with her 8-year-old daughter a decade ago amid a custody dispute in a previous relationship was arrested on Wednesday as he landed at an Atlanta airport on a flight from Central America with the daughter, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
Scott Kelley, who is not the father, was taken into custody at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as he arrived from Costa Rica, said Jim Joyner, supervisor of the marshals' Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Kelley is charged with custodial interference.
His wife, Genevieve Kelley, faces trial next month on the same charge.
Genevieve Kelley's daughter and Scott Kelley's stepdaughter, Mary Nunes, now 19, was with him on Wednesday, but there were no warrants for her arrest and she was released, Joyner said.
'We followed a lot of false leads, but we had to follow them all. Mary's safe, and that was the overall goal for us.'
- Deputy Marshal Jamie Berry
Scott Kelley's arrest was set in motion Monday, when he and Nunes visited the U.S. Department of State office in Costa Rica to get travel documents to return to the U.S., said Deputy Marshal Jamie Berry, New Hampshire case manager for the Kelley case.
Interpol alerts signaled that Scott Kelley was wanted and Nunes was listed as missing.
Federal marshals said they were alerted to their flight arrangements and intercepted them when they landed.
"Investigators talked to her and made sure she was OK," Berry said. "We asked if she wanted any other arrangements, and she said no. We wanted to make sure she was there of her own free will."
Berry would not disclose Nunes' destination, citing privacy concerns.
"It's been a long 10 years," Berry said. "We had a lot of lookalikes we had investigated. We followed a lot of false leads, but we had to follow them all. Mary's safe, and that was the overall goal for us."
Genevieve Kelley has said she left to protect her daughter from abuse by her ex-husband and the father, Mark Nunes, who was investigated but was never charged.
Kelley, a family doctor in Whitefield, disappeared with Mary Nunes and went to Central America in 2004. Shortly after Nunes turned 18 in February 2014 and was no longer subject to the family court, Kelley made contact with authorities. She turned herself in in November.
Prosecutors say she defied a court order when she fled.
The whereabouts of Scott Kelley and Nunes had been a mystery, prompting prosecutors to ask a judge to order Genevieve Kelley to turn over her passports in an effort to find her daughter.
Genevieve Kelley's lawyer, Alan Rosenfeld, has said Nunes plans to be a witness for her mother at the trial, slated to start next month.
Kelley was released from jail on Jan. 7, nearly three weeks after her supporters posted $250,000 cash bail.
Scott Kelley was jailed in Atlanta and couldn't be reached for comment. If he doesn't agree to return to New Hampshire, Berry said, extraditions proceedings will begin.