Kidnapped 3 year-old girl reunited with father in Spokane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Kidnapped 3 year-old girl reunited with father in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - A father was reunited with his 3-year-old daughter in Spokane after she was kidnapped more than a week ago in Eugene, Oregon.

Child Protective Services handed the girl over to her father, Daniel Patterson, at the Spokane International Airport where they flew back home Wednesday to Eugene.

Patterson, who has sole custody of his daughter, said his ex-girlfriend, Peggy Rutledge, took their daughter during a parenting visit. He's spent the last 9 days working with detectives and the FBI to find her.

"We were worried she had gone to Canada or left the U.S. We really didn't know where she might have gone," said Patterson.

On Wednesday, May 12th, Patterson received word his daughter was safe with her mother in Spokane. Using records on a U-Haul she had rented, authorities were able to track the mother to an apartment in Spokane where she cooperated with detectives in handing over the girl.

Patterson says this is the second time the mother has abducted the child. The first time happened when the girl was 2-years-old. Both were missing for 2 months.

"That is what really hurt, because I told her it was never going to happen again and I was going to take care of her. Having it happen again was really hard," said Patterson.

The father hugged his daughter tight and gave her a yellow teddy bear when they saw each other at the airport. The mother cut the girls hair short, perhaps as a way to disguise her, the father said.

The mother remains in police custody.

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