Megan Mulczynski, 11, and her mother, both Americans, have been missing for weeks.

Megan Mulczynski, 11, and her mother, both Americans, have been missing for weeks. (Courtesy of Tom Mulczynski)

Megan Mulczynski, 11, and her mother, both Americans, have been missing for weeks.

Megan Mulczynski, 11, and her mother, both Americans, have been missing for weeks. (Courtesy of Tom Mulczynski)

Tom Mulczynski says he will stay in Germany as long as it takes to locate his daughter.

Tom Mulczynski says he will stay in Germany as long as it takes to locate his daughter. ()

LANDSTUHL, Germany — A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the return of a missing 11-year-old American girl who — by court order — should be in the care of German youth welfare services.

Tom Mulczynski, a former civilian employee at Ramstein Air Base who now works as a financial analyst with the Marine Corps in the Pentagon, is offering the reward for the return of his daughter Megan.

German police have searched the dwelling of Mulczynski’s ex-wife, Gail, and the residence of Clement Marcantonio, a Catholic priest who says Mass at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center chapel and counseled Gail Mulczynski for almost four years.

The issue stems from several years of a custody battle for Megan between Tom Mulczynski and his ex-wife. Tom, Gail and Megan Mulczynski are American citizens by birth. But the matter is being handled in German courts because it is a civil case and all parties lived in Germany when the legal proceedings began.

Gail and Megan Mulczynski went missing after a July 14 German district court ruling that gave the Jugendamt, the German youth welfare services, the authority to gain custody of Megan. A day earlier, a higher German court ruling upheld a 2004 lower court decision that granted Tom Mulczynski custody of Megan.

“My sole goal in coming back here is to get my daughter,” said Tom Mulczynski, who flew from the States to deal with the issue and has been in Ramstein since mid-July. “The best-case scenario would be for someone to come forward, say, ‘We know she’s here,’ and then get her. Of course then bring her to the Jugendamt that has this whole plan to transition her to me.”

Allegations of abuseSince the Mulczynskis separated in late 2003, Megan has been living with her mother. Gail Mulczynski home-schooled her daughter.

“The daughter is — from a moral point of view — in good hands with her,” said Marcantonio, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “I would not want to see her daughter be in any other place.”

A December 2004 court ruling awarded Tom Mulczynski custody of his daughter. An expert diagnosed Gail Mulczynski as schizophrenic, and as a result, the court found Megan was endangered, according to German court documents.

However, Megan said she did not want to live with her father because she said her father physically, mentally and sexually abused her, court documents showed.

The Landstuhl District court was certain Gail Mulczynski manipulated Megan concerning the abuse allegations, according to court documents.

“The child has made her statement like clockwork and has made the manipulation evident this way,” according to a translation of a document.

The decision giving the father custody was appealed, and Megan was allowed to remain with the mother during the appeal process. A higher court then suspended the ruling giving the father custody. German police, prosecutors and a Jugendamt case worker said they could not discuss the matter.

Missing for weeksOn July 13, a German higher regional court in Zweibrücken revoked its suspension of the 2004 lower court ruling that gave Tom Mulczynski custody of his daughter. On July 14, the Landstuhl District court authorized the Jugendamt to involve the German police to enforce the order.

But since the rulings, mother and daughter have been missing.

Gail Mulczynski has not shown up for work at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Shoppette at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center since July 27 and has been “separated” from employment, said Debbie Byerly, AAFES spokeswoman.

Days after the court decisions, German police searched the Langwieden residence of Gail Mulczynski. Neither Gail nor her daughter were there.

The locks have been changed on the front door of the mother’s residence and a note on the door reads that the police in Landstuhl have the new key. Last week, a neighbor who did not want to be named said she had not seen Gail or Megan for a few weeks.

Next, German police searched the home of Marcantonio and found nothing.

Priest applauds momMarcantonio insisted that he does not know their whereabouts.

“I’m not here to downgrade the German court decision,” he said. “For whatever reasons, they did whatever they did. I do applaud Gail’s moral decision to protect her daughter from harm, wanting to keep her daughter rather than letting her go based on whatever court decision.”

A year ago, Tom Mulczynski showed up to church at Landstuhl when Megan was serving as a reader, said Frank Bannister, a member of the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic community at Landstuhl.

“His mere presence upsets her,” he said. “Gail used to be that way — the mere mention of him upset her, but now she’s come to be able to discuss her divorce very rationally.”

Tom Mulczynski knows that his daughter will need therapy when they are reunited. He says he will stay in Germany as long as he can until she is located.

“If I can at least give the youth authority some leads or if somebody gives them some information, then they’ll go and get her,” he said.

Anyone with information that would help in this matter should contact Frau Sprunk-Kraemer at the German Youth Welfare Office at 06381-424-260.

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