Zip Code:
Provider Type:
          PLAYING Father Recalls Cross-Country Search For Estranged Wife, Daughter: ‘My Worst Fear Was [My Daughter] Would Be Killed By Her Own Mom’

          Father Recalls Cross-Country Search For Estranged Wife, Daughter: ‘My Worst Fear Was [My Daughter] Would Be Killed By Her Own Mom’


          June 8, 2016

          Would Be Killed By Her Own Mom’" url=""]

          Amid a bitter custody battle, Laura took her 4-year-old daughter and left Pennsylvania, in what turned into a cross-country investigation.

          When authorities finally located Laura in Utah, they called her estranged husband, Joe, to let him know his daughter had been found.

          “I was ecstatic. I was relieved,” Joe says of the day U.S. Marshals called him to say his little girl had been found.

          WATCH: Mother Explains Leaving With 4-Year-Old Daughter & Why She Hasn’t Seen The Child Since Being Acquitted Of Kidnapping

          Although Laura was charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and interference with custody, she was acquitted of all charges. It’s now been four years since Laura has seen her daughter – and Joe claims that is for good reason.

          “Laura had threatened that she would kill my daughter and herself. She threatened to go on the run multiple times,” Joe claims. “She bought a handgun and she started to threaten killing herself various times, shooting me various times … whenever she started to threaten to kill my daughter, that’s when it became something that I couldn’t accept.”

          Joe says the search for Laura and their daughter began when his estranged wife failed to show up for a custody hearing.

          WATCH: Mom Claims She Feared for Her 4-Year-Old Daughter’s Life

          “At that point, I didn’t know if I would ever see my daughter ever again, let alone alive. My worst fear was she would be killed by her own mom,” he says, adding that when authorities found them in Utah, Laura had a handgun in the vehicle.

          Laura, however, claims she ran away with the child because Joe had been abusive and threatened to harm both her and their daughter.

          “Joe has repeatedly told me that he was going to kill me. He had threatened me with obtaining a gun from his father,” Laura claims. “With the violence increasing, we fled. The only thing I could think of was putting distance between us.”

          As for the gun, Laura claims it was for their own safety.

          “I had my gun with me for protection. I was determined to protect my daughter,” she says.

          WATCH: Wife Responds To Estranged Husband’s Claims Of ‘Bizarre’ Paranoia

          While the courts have granted Laura visitation, Joe explains why he says he’s reluctant to allow her to see their daughter.

          “At that point, she’s capable of anything. I look over my shoulder every time I take my daughter to school. What’s she going to do? Is she going to kill our daughter and herself and me?” Joe says. “One of my fears is that if Laura had any kind of visitation to my daughter, she would just take off again. I never want to lose my daughter again. I’m not going to let that happen.”

          This episode of Dr. Phil airs Thursday.

          Be on the Show

          Need Dr. Phil’s Help?

          Share your story for a chance to be on the show!

          Tell Us Your Story

          Be on the Show! Text “PHIL” to 88500
          Be on the Show

          Know a “Bad Bride”?

          Are you a bridesmaid under pressure to look “perfect?” Is the bride demanding that all her bridesmaids lose weight and get into shape before the big day?

          Be on the Show

          Know Someone Refusing to Act Their Age?

          Is your son or daughter a moocher and refusing to grow up? Is your loved one having a midlife crisis or wearing inappropriate clothing?

          Be on the Show

          At War with Mom?

          Do you feel she is your worst enemy? Can you not believe you are related to someone you dislike so much?

          Be on the Show

          Is a Narcissist Ruining Your Life?

          Do you suspect your partner/ family member to be a narcissist? Do they behave in a way that leaves you confused, distressed and fearful?

          Be on the Show

          Fighting Over A Family-Run Business?

          Are you part owner in a family business and feel like you don’t get your fair share of profits?

          Help & Resources

          Find Treatment Centers and Therapists!

          Check out the mental health treatment programs that have assisted Dr. Phil guests.

          Feeding America

          Learn how you can help feed a child this summer.

          Be on the Show

          Have a Story Dr. Phil Won’t Believe?

          Want to appear on Dr. Phil? Text PHIL to 88500

          Simple Share Buttons
          Simple Share Buttons