The 6-Year Search For A Texas Mom Who Kidnapped Her Daughter Comes To A Surprising End

Photo: Courtesy of Madison County Jail.
In 2014, Kevin Inks reported his daughter Penelope missing. She was then 11 years old. The search for Penelope ended when Madisonville police in Texas located Penelope alive but not well on April 3 — six years later. Penelope was found malnourished, hiding in a hotel room. Police also arrested her abductor, 37-year-old Heather Inks, Penelope's mother.
When the abduction happened, a judge had awarded Kevin sole custody of Penelope. Heather never showed up to the hearing. That's when the search for Penelope began, later gaining nationwide attention after Heather was featured on the FBI's most-wanted list. According to news outlets, the FBI referred to Heather as the “Nude Model Kidnapper” because of her previous stint as a local model in Texas, and also because salacious images of her were made public. The U.S. Sun also reports that Heather had appeared in Playboy magazine. 
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In 2015, the FBI issued a warrant for Heather's arrest for "parental kidnapping," and most recently, Kevin hired a private investigator. But it wasn't the investigator who found Heather and Penelope. Heather called the police herself. The duo was found two hours north of Galveston, where Penelope was first reported missing. 
Heather, who had given them another name, called the Madisonville police on April 3. She asked police for help because she believed her ex-husband was trying to poison her. When police arrived at the motel, they determined she wasn't in danger of being poisoned but then inquired more information about who she really was. 
Police had found Heather with an unidentified man, who apparently is the father of her second child. Her latest husband allegedly had no idea about Heather’s criminal past, according to KBTX.
"So they ask her again. She gave another name, and apparently, this name was an alias name that she was using that was connected to the actual real name, which was Heather Inks," Chief Herbert Gilbert with the Madisonville Police Department told KBTX
Police searched the motel room and found a very weak teenager. They took Penelope to Child Protective Services and arrested Heather. Heather has since been moved from Madison County Jail to Galveston County. 
"She had her first meal," Philip Klein, investigator and CEO of Klein Investigations, told KBTX. "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 also said in a press release that Penelope was taken to be physically and mentally evaluated. 
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Klein also released a statement from Penelope's dad in which he thanked officers for their work in locating his daughter. 
"I want to especially thank the officers in Madison County for their professional and excellent police work that was done. As you can assume, we are very emotional right now, and many details of the capture of my ex-wife and my daughter are yet to come out. We are asking as a family that the media and public give us time to digest the events and begin the unification process with Penelope. I understand that my daughter is not in a mental or physical state to handle any more stress.”
In 2016, Kevin released an emotional video letter to his daughter telling her that he missed her and didn’t blame her for anything. 
“The thing I want to do is wrap my arms around you,” he said, “and tell you that I love you. We are going to create a new life together. I am going to be the dad you need and deserve.”

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