MADISONVILLE, Texas -- It's been a long time coming for everyone tasked to find Heather Inks.
"Relief for the father. Relief for the child, that she doesn't have to run all over the United States with a mother who, at best is a criminal, at worst is an animal," Philip Klein, lead investigator with Klein Investigations, said.
Penelope Inks, who was 11 at the time of her disappearance in 2014, has been the center of an international search for nearly six years. The FBI said her mom, Heather, ran off with her from Texas City after Penelope's father was granted sole custody. The former model and actress went by several aliases, but law enforcement was still able to track her down after all this time. Klein walked us through what happened. He was hired years ago by Penelope's father.
"I can't say enough about the FBI. I can't say enough about the Madisonville Police Department, Madison County Sheriff's Department, 911 dispatchers, everyone who kind of raised their antennas up and said 'Ooh, we have a problem here. It looks like it may be her,'" he explained.
Earlier this month, Madisonville Police Department got a call from a woman at a Days Inn , claiming her ex-husband was trying to poison her. Through investigative techniques, and a database search of an alias name she went by, they discovered Heather was a wanted fugitive. They found Penelope abandoned in the same motel - extremely malnourished.
"She had her first meal. She was refusing to eat. She was living on Dr. Pepper and candy. She's emaciated. Weighed 74 pounds at the age of 16 years old. She's confused on who to trust, on who not to trust," Klein said.
Penelope has been turned over to Child Protective Services, where she is receiving mental and physical help. As soon as she's able, she'll be reunited with her father.
Heather Inks was booked into the Madison County Jail, but was transferred to Galveston County Jail, where she sits with no bond.
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