HOUSTON - In a new development in a story we've been following since late 2016, a local father's fight to be reunited with his young child just took a big step.
Dr. Chris Brann said his ex-wife took his son to Brazil when he was 3 years old, and never returned.
On Wednesday, he learned that his ex's parents have been arrested in Miami.
Carlos, 67, and Jemima Guimaraes, 65, were arrested at the airport after they arrived on a flight from Brazil.
Both are charged with conspiracy and international parental kidnapping.
Brann's ex-wife, Marcelle Guimaraes, is also facing charges, but she has not been arrested.
“Right then I knew something big had happened,” Brann said about his conversation with his attorney.
He had news about his son Nico.
“This was first time in a long time that there's a possibility Niko might come back,” Brann said.
Marcelle, Carlos and Jemima are set to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan in Miami, at which time the government expects to request their continued detention pending further criminal proceedings.
The criminal complaint filed in Houston claims that Carlos, Jemima and Marcelle, 39, conspired to illegally retain the child in Brazil.
Marcelle and Nico had traveled to Brazil to attend a family event in July 2013, but were supposed to return to Houston no later than July 20 the same year, according to the charges.
As of the filing of the complaint, Nico has not returned to the United States.
If convicted, each faces up to five years in federal prison for the conspiracy as well as a maximum of three years if convicted of the kidnapping charge.
“This has been a long arduous road. And I am tired. I'm happy that justice is being served. I don't wish harm on anybody,” Brann said.
We first introduced you to Brann in October 2016, when he made a public plea for the return of a sentimental journal that was stolen when his car was broken into.
He used it to document is feelings and emotions in the battle against his ex-wife for custody of Nico.
A jogger later recovered the journal and returned it to Brann. Brann is now hopeful that he will soon be able to share it with Nico.
“My primary goal is to have my son returned. And if this is a mechanism by which it allows that to happen quickly, then I am on board for whatever happens,” Brann said.
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