County starts proceedings to extradite dad in Texas

Man held on charges he abducted daughters

October 26, 1999|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore County state's attorney's office began extradition proceedings yesterday to bring a Harvard-educated composer from Houston to Baltimore County, where he is charged with abducting his two daughters from Europe in August.

Deputy State's Attorney Howard B. Merker said Christopher Yavelow, 49, remained in a Houston jail yesterday.

Merker said parental abduction charges could mean one year in prison and a $1,000 fine in Baltimore County District Court.

Yavelow, who has relatives in the Towson area, is accused of being on the run from the FBI for two months before his arrest Thursday at a friend's home near Rice University.

Authorities said he had traveled through at least six states with his daughters, Celina Yavelow, 13, and Stephanie Yavelow, 10.

Susan Elgin, a Towson lawyer for Monique Fasel, the girls' mother, said Fasel and the children flew to their home in the Netherlands on Sunday and "are doing well."

Fasel had temporary custody of the children when her estranged husband took them on a European vacation in August; he failed to return them by the expected date at the end of August. The entire family lived in the Netherlands at the time.

Elgin said that while Fasel was in the United States helping with the FBI search, a Dutch court granted her full custody of the children.

Police believe that Yavelow and his daughters left Britain on the Queen Elizabeth II, docking in Maine and traveling to Towson and Timonium, where he grew up.

After he was seen in the Towson area last month, a Baltimore County judge signed an order honoring the Dutch custody order and allowing Fasel to file the criminal charges against Yavelow.

Authorities said Yavelow ducked the FBI and police on at least three occasions during the manhunt.

They waited for him to return a rental car in Baltimore and in Salt Lake City.

The FBI also waited for him to pick up a rented cell phone from a small town in Alabama.

Yavelow, known for creating computer-generated music, communicated with his wife and with Merker by e-mail while on the run and updated his Web site until his arrest.

Merker said he did not know when Yavelow will be returned to Baltimore County.

Most likely, Yavelow will be driven east, said Merker, because he apparently gets upset when he flies and "we're not going to jeopardize anybody on a flight."

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