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Father who abducted sons returned to Texas

HOUSTON -- A former Houston man who abducted his two sons more than sev III, 13, and Christopher Jason, 11, arrived at Houston International Airport on a flight from Mexico City.

Smith faces a state charge of interfering with child custody and a federal charge of flight to avoid prosecution.

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His sons, who were abducted in September 1984, were to be reunited with their mother, Carolyn Shaffer Smith.

Both boys are 'in good health and OK,' said their mother's attorney, Randy Donato.

The last time Carolyn Smith saw her children was on a Friday in September 1984 when her ex-husband and his father picked them up for a visit, Donato said.

Donato said Chuck Smith fled to Florida with the boys and then went to England and Scotland. The children apparently have been living in Mexico for the last three years and spending summers in Canada, Donato said.

'We knew they were there (in Mexico). It took a lot of work trying to get all the paperwork done that would result in getting him extradited and the children back,' said Donato. 'He was married to a (Mexican) woman down there, which presented some complications.'

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Smith and the boys lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Donato said.

Carolyn Smith was awarded $53 million in damages in a 1985 lawsuit against her ex-husband's father, Chick Smith, and other relatives.

Jurors said she was wronged by a conspiracy among her former husband's relatives to abduct the children. The award was the first in Texas under a domestic kidnapping law.

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