THE father accused of abducting his toddler has told The Euro Weekly News: “I did not kidnap my daughter.”
Belgian Kyshan van der Zanden has been featured in Spanish and British press accused of snatching his 21-month-old daughter Laylah from her home in Calpe and away from her mother Gemma Mountney.
She told The Daily Mail that he had treated her to a spa day and said he was taking Laylah to nursery. When she arrived to collect her she was told she had never been that day. She said: “I miss Laylah so much and I just want her back in my arms and to be giving her a huge hug.”
Van der Zanden said: “I am not hiding or running away. I reported myself at the local police station and made a statement that myself and my daughter are in this country, the first day I arrived at my destination.” He added: “I left Gemma a letter saying where I went to, I did not kidnap my daughter!”
He said he was working around the clock to provide for Laylah but their home life was difficult accusing Gemma’s family of being controlling and against him: “I didn’t have a say in anything at all, over my daughter’s surname or nationality.”
With the Mountney family alerting police to the incident and working with Reunite International Child Abduction Centre, van der Zanden claims Gemma has not tried to call him: “Gemma took my rights as Laylah’s father. We left for a better life and a better future. Everything I have done so far I have done legally and will continue to do so.”