After losing custody of her 11-month-old daughter Savanna to her ex-husband Harris Todd in South Carolina, Dorothy Lee Barnett turned to Children of the Underground, an organization to help mothers escape from abusive husbands. Although Todd was not abusive, Barnett’s story worked. The organization helped her flee the country without Todd knowing. For 20 years, Barnett traveled the world with Savanna, whom her mother started to call Samantha. The mother and daughter were eventually found in Australia in 2013.
ABC News 4 reports that during an outing with friends in Australia, after a few drinks, Barnett (who then went by the name Alexandra Geldenheys) slipped and called Samantha by her birth name Savanna. A friend thought it was odd and then did some research. She found missing photos of Savanna on the Internet and called Harris and the FBI. Dorothy Lee Barnett was extradited to the US. She pled guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 21 months in a South Carolina jail.
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