Arrest Police Murder

Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty To Kidnapping Girlfriend’s Daughter, Taking Her To Ethiopia

Arrest Police Murder
TFP File Photo

NEW ORLEANS, Fla. – Kidus Awlachew, 33, a New Orleans, Louisiana resident, pleaded guilty Friday after being charged in a one-count bill of information with international parental kidnapping.

According to court records, Awlachew and his girlfriend began dating in about 2018. Soon after, the man’s girlfriend and her minor daughter moved into Awlachew’s residence. Between 2018 and January 2022, Awlachew often voluntarily acted in a parental capacity toward the child.

In December 2021, Awlachew told his girlfriend that he wanted to take the child to Ethiopia for about one month to experience a different culture.

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Based on those representations, the woman agreed, not knowing the man had other intentions.

Awlachew purchased tickets for him and the child to travel to Ethiopia on January 14, 2022, and return on February 21, 2022. 

But authorities say Awlachew and the child victim didn’t return.

On numerous occasions, the girlfriend inquired why Awlachew had not returned with the child and demanded that he do so. Awlachew either ignored the inquiries or provided a false justification for not returning. Moreover, Awlachew usually did not allow the woman to correspond directly with her daughter.

Law enforcement authorities recovered the girl from Awlachew’s custody in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and took Awlachew into custody on July 20, 2022.

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United States law enforcement authorities arranged for the minor victim to be returned to New Orleans and reunited with her mother. Awlachew was returned to the United States on August 24, 2022.    

Awlachew faces up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, one year of supervised release after imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee. Sentencing before Judge Zainey has been scheduled for June 13, 2023, at 10:30 am.

“The ending, in this case, might have been much different without the coordination and cooperation between national and international partners,” said FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Williams, Jr. “We thank the Louisiana State Police, the State Department, our fellow agents in Addis Ababa, and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for bringing this case to a swift and positive conclusion.”

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