On October 14, Italian and Florence newspapers reported that Marianne Grin, a US-Russian citizen who has lived in Florence for over 10 years, had abducted her children over the summer. Grin was being divorced by her U.S. husband in Florence, and, after having lost custody of the couple's four children in 2010, she allegedly kidnapped them and took them to Russia.
Three of the four children were born in Florence, and all were raised and attend schools here. Grin uprooted them from their schools, friends and daily lives in Florence, and taking them to another country, Russia, where they have absolutely no family or friends. Moreover, doing so without without permission from their father, who is their legal custodian, is an international crime. However, despite this, the laws of different jurisdictions and geographical locations make international child abduction stemming from parental disputes among the most complicated cases to resolve.
A 45-year-old lawyer educated at Harvard, Grin disappeared from Florence in late August with the children, all between the ages of 5 and 14. She is known to be in Saint Petersburg but has denied their father or the U.S. authorities any communication with the children. She has also clashed with the U.S. consulate officials who are helping to find and communicate with the kids.