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 visitation.
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.
A psychiatrist 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. (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.) The psychiatrist thought Michael should have custody and Ann's visitations with Samantha should be supervised.
An FBI warrant for kidnapping was issued for Ann 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.
Photos and an age-progressed image of Ann are posted with this case summary. Her date of birth is March 25, 1963, making her 37 years old at the time of Samantha's abduction. She's described as Caucasian, 5'0 and 120 pounds, with brown hair and 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. She has a dental condition and may seek medical treatment for it.
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.
Ann and Samantha may frequent doctor's offices and other medical facilities and may be with an adult female relative. They may be accompanied by a 12-pound red miniature Tibetan Spaniel or Tibetan Terrier dog named Vodka. A photo of Vodka is posted with this case summary.
Ann and Samantha 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 the pair were 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 Samantha, as he cannot find evidence that she is enrolled in school anywhere. Samantha's case remains unsolved.