Yvette Torres, on FBI most wanted fugitive list, surrenders
A woman who had been one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives since she fled overseas with her 2-year-old daughter more than a decade ago has turned herself in and returned the girl to her father on Long Island, federal authorities said.
Yvette Torres, 49, is charged with taking her daughter, Sabrena Beck, now 14, overseas with the intention of obstructing the parental rights of the father, Davis Beck IV, of Hauppauge.
Torres surrendered to authorities Sept. 5 at Kennedy Airport, FBI spokeswoman Adrienne Senatore said.
"The child was reunited with her father," Senatore said.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn said the case is likely to be presented to a grand jury. Torres' attorney, Mark Schneider of the federal defenders' office in Southern District Court, did not respond to requests for comment.
Beck's attorney, Gary Weintraub, said his client and his daughter were forced to wait far too long to reunite.
"It's very gratifying to know his child is back, finally, and that she can get to know her two siblings," Weintraub said. "It's a pity that this child was deprived of knowing her father for a dozen years and that he missed out on seeing her develop into a very beautiful woman today. No parent should have to go through that. It's very hurtful. Who suffers in the long run? The child does, even more than the parents."
Beck, reached at home, refused to comment.
Torres' mother, Norma Gonzalez, of North Bergen, N.J., said the 12-year-old dispute between her daughter and Beck is "in the process of being resolved." She wouldn't elaborate and said her daughter declined to comment. She referred all questions to Schneider.
Senatore said Torres' return was negotiated. She posted a bond of $75,000, which requires her to stay in the New York metropolitan area and to seek treatment for mental health problems. The FBI's wanted page for her said she suffered from bipolar disorder.
In March 2000, Suffolk Family Court ordered that Sabrena would live with Beck and that Torres, who lived in Florida by then, would have visitation rights. Torres and Beck never married.
On June 17, Beck dropped Sabrena off with Torres for a two-week period, but at the end of it they did not return. An arrest warrant affidavit from 2001 said Torres invited her ex-husband, David Dawson, to go overseas with her, and she got passports for herself and her daughter using his last name.
They left for London, then traveled to Paris for a few days and then to Barcelona. After Dawson argued with Torres and found out Sabrena was supposed to be with her father, he returned alone to the United States.
The FBI issued a warrant for Torres' arrest on an international parental kidnapping charge and an international search was launched to find Sabrena.
In January 2010, the FBI unveiled a large wanted poster of Torres on a Times Square digital billboard.
"You have millions of Americans and millions of foreign visitors in Times Square," Special Agent Richard Kolko said when the poster was unveiled. "Someone is going to say, 'Hey, I know her' and pick up the phone."
Sabrena also was included in Alice Sebold's companion volume to her bestselling novel "The Lovely Bones" that she used to highlight the plight of missing children. The "Looking Glass" was published in November 2009 and Sebold donated all royalties to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
She was one of eight children featured in the book and Sebold donated royalties from it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Two years earlier, the center had released a digitally age-progressed photo of what Sabrena would have looked like at age 9.