Details of Disappearance
Samantha was last seen in Suffern, New York on February 3, 2001. She was abducted by her non-custodial mother, Ann Yermak Kibalo, during a court-ordered overnight vistation.
Ann filed for divorce from Samantha's father, Michael Kibalo, three weeks after Samantha's birth. Michael stated every time he saw Samantha, afterward Ann would accuse him of abusing the child. Authorities investigated her allegations and determined they were all without foundation. Ann took Samantha to seven different doctors 33 times in the eleven months after her birth, and none of the doctors could find anything wrong with her. A psychiatrist later testified he thought Ann suffered from Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, a rare disorder which could cause Ann to abuse Samantha and/or subject her to unnecessary medical treatment for nonexistent illnesses. The psychiatrist thought Michael should have custody and Ann's visitations with Samantha should be supervised.
Photographs and vital statistics for Ann are posted below this case summary. A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warrant for kidnapping was issued for her on January 15, 2002. She also has warrants for her arrest on charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, custodial interference, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Her last known address was in New Hyde Park, New York.
Ann and Samantha were originally traveling in a black four-door 1996 Suzuki Sidekick Sport with a gold-colored bumper and New York license plates. It was recovered in a parking garage in the New York City borough of Brooklyn two months after the Kibalos disappeared. They may be accompanied by a 12-pound red miniature Tibetan Spaniel or Tibetan Terrier dog named Vodka. A photo of Vodka is posted below this case summary. Ann and Samantha may frequent doctor's offices and other medical facilities and may be with an adult female relative. They may be in the New York City area, or in Palm Beach County or Boynton Beach, Florida; Illinois; or New Hampshire. In 2006, there were sightings of them reported in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The reports have not been confirmed, but they are believed to be credible. The New Mexico witnesses described the child as quiet and withdrawn and stated her mother did not interact with her much.
Michael stated he believes Samantha and Ann are moving frequently to different places around the country and using two or three different aliases. He believes Ann's mother may be assisting them, as she has refinanced her house several times. Michael's theories have not been verified.
Samantha is believed to be at risk; her mother may have been abusing her prior to her disappearance. Michael now lives in New Jersey and is actively searching for his daughter. He believes Ann may be homeschooling the child, as he cannot find evidence that she is enrolled in school anywhere. Samantha's case remains unsolved.
Above: Pet dog, Vodka
Ann Yermak Kibalo
Top Row ad Bottom Left and Center: Ann Yermak Kibalo;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 40 (circa 2003)
Date of Birth: March 25, 1963
Age: 37 years old
Height and Weight: 5'0, 115 - 120 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Ann wears eyeglasses while driving and may wear contact lenses tinted brown. She may use the last names Yermak, Saul, and/or Kaplan. Ann may have cut her hair short and dyed it blonde. She has an accounting degree from Brooklyn College and has previously worked in that field.
Medical Conditions: Ann has a dental condition and may seek medical treatment for it. She is mentally unstable; she has a severe personality disorder and several traits from other disorders, and she may suffer from Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, which could cause her to harm Samantha. Ann is classified as disabled.