NEW YORK, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Over three quarters of a million
children under the age of 18 years old are reported missing each year. Most
stories of abducted children end in tragedy, but on Monday, April 30, THE
MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW features the stories of abducted children who have
been reunited with their families.
Through the stories of families who have experienced a kidnapping and
child safety experts and advocates, including America's Most Wanted's John
Walsh, Montel discusses how to prevent your child from being kidnapped.
Guests who will share their stories include:
* Sabrina Gonzalez, who is back home because her mother, Jessica
Sanmiguel, searched for her relentlessly. Jessica claims her
ex-husband's mother, Martha Hernandez, snatched Sabrina when Martha
realized Jessica would not be reconciling with her ex-husband. When
police were unable to find her daughter, Jessica says she stalked her
estranged husband's family members, certain it would lead her to Martha
and, ultimately, Sabrina. Her hunch paid off, she says, when she
finally spotted Martha after two years and called police, who
successfully recovered Sabrina and arrested Martha, who is now awaiting
* Ed Smart and his daughter Elizabeth, who surprise Walsh with a special
videotaped message of thanks for all he did to aid in Elizabeth's safe
return several years ago, after she was abducted from her family's home.
Ed tells Walsh, "I wish we could be there with you. It's a great honor
to be on the show with you today. We appreciate so much everything that you
did, bringing Elizabeth home, and all that you've done for so many children
out there. I remember talking to you on the phone -- I'd just gotten off my
knees thanking God for Elizabeth coming home. You know that was a day I
will never forget, and our family just is so grateful to you."
Elizabeth had words of gratitude for Walsh, as well, saying, "Thanks
John for all you've done, not just for my family, 'cause you've helped so
much, but for all the effort that you've put into helping every child whose
gone missing. I just want everybody out there to know that bad things do
happen, but you should never live your life in fear. Yes, you should take
precautions. From all this, I've learned that each one of us has so much
potential, and I know we all go through hardships, and certainly they may
not all be the same, but they all do impact our lives. We can make a
difference in the world if we just don't live in the past and if we go
* Jessyca Mullenberg, from Stevens Point, Wis., who was kidnapped and held
for more than three months over a decade ago. Her captor, Steven
Oliver, was a friend of her father's who beat her and abused her
sexually and emotionally. During her imprisonment, Jessyca says, Oliver
moved them from motel to motel to avoid arousing suspicion and forced
Jessyca to call him 'Dad' when they were out in public.
After John Walsh's America's Most Wanted aired a segment about
Jessyca's abduction, a tipster at their motel recognized Oliver and he was
arrested and taken into custody.
* Heather Kangas, from Middleburg, Fla., who was 13 years old when she was
abducted by Timothy Oberlander, while waiting at her school bus stop.
Oberlander threw her in the back of his car and handcuffed her.
Eventually, Kangas managed to free one hand from the cuffs, leapt from
the car while it was still moving and ran screaming towards the car
behind her, explaining she didn't even wait for Oberlander to slow the
Kangas, now 18 years old, credits her presence of mind to the constant
drilling instilled in her by her mother, Paula Holcom, who'd repeatedly
warned Kangas to get away at all costs should she ever be abducted.
* Carol Wilson, a deputy in the local police department in Hammond, La.,
who traced a suspicious abandoned vehicle back to a wanted child
molester and sex offender David Sprong, who she had just seen featured
on America's Most Wanted. She says the story stuck with her because
she'd been fascinated with Sprong's ability to repeatedly elude law
enforcement in a number of states. Her hunch and quick thinking
resulted in the car being searched and, as a result, evidence found in
the vehicle led to Sprong's capture three days later.
THE MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW is a Mountain Movers production in association
with CBS Television Distribution. Montel Williams is Executive Producer and
Melanie McLaughlin is Executive Producer. Susan Henry and Kim
Forman-Brechka are Co-Executive Producers. CBS Television Distribution is a
division of CBS Corp.
SOURCE THE MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW