After 12 days on the run with his 10 year old son Tomas, devastated Sydney dad George Betsis turned his son over to Los Angeles police on Wednesday.
The forty-nine year old advertising executive burst into tears and hugged his boy tightly before letting him go, The Daily Telegraph reported. Betsis, who is an advertising executive had been the subject of a child abduction alert since he flew to the US and picked up his son from school on April 3.
Tomas’ mother, celebrity baby whisperer Priscilla Dunstan, whom he had separated from six years ago called police who issued an amber alert.
Mr Betsis claimed that he had not seen Tomas since Mrs Dunstan moved to the US from Australia seven months ago. “It’s heartbreaking for me and it was heartbreaking for him,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
Mr Betsis also claimed that this was the only way he could see his son after Ms Dunstan allegedly breached an agreement for him to see Tomas at Christmas and Easter.
Father and son allegedly spent their days in an apartment at a secret location in California, where they played board games, watched Star Wars and risked being spotted by venturing outside to visit a go-kart track.
“For more than 10 days, we spent 80 per cent of our time confined indoors so even these few days have been stolen from us,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“I haven’t entertained the thought of jail much yet because I didn’t want the fear of that to interfere with me spending happy time with him.”
Tomas is believed to be back with his mother in LA, and the District Attorney is now considering whether to charge Betsis.
He would most likely be charged with kidnapping or concealment of a child, and police are expected to push for bond to be set at $US 500,000.
Actress Mary Coustas (aka Effie), who is married to Betsis is preparing to fly to Los Angeles to be by her husband’s side if he is locked up in a Los Angeles jail.
Frustrated and distraught, she said she could not believe his attempt to spend time with the son he had not seen for seven months could have got so out of hand.
“George has conducted himself brilliantly throughout this whole thing by keeping in touch with police every day. I know it will be OK but right now we are in the thick of it,” she was quoted as saying.
Coustas, whose stepson calls her Marebear said it was important for Tomas or any child to have both their mother and their father around.