Woman Finds She Was Abducted as Child by Mother in Custody Battle

ChildofDivorce.jpgA Nevada woman applying for a marriage license discovered that she had been abducted by her mother during a bitter child custody dispute and had been living under an assumed name since she was six.

Melissa Reed, whose real name is Eva Marie Fiedler, found out that her mother, Nancy Dunsavage, had taken her from New Jersey to Nevada following her 1983 divorce. Dunsavage said she left and changed their names to save them from her allegedly abusive ex-husband.

Dunsavage is now in a Reno jail on a 1985 fugitive warrant from New Jersey. Prosecutors have said they want her returned to face charges in what they say was a parental abduction.

According to court documents, Melissa Reed said that her mother revealed her past to her because of her inability to obtain a marriage license, which requires a photo ID. Reed has never been able to obtain a drivers license, passport or other official documents because of her assumed name.

Dunsavage reportedly told Reed that she could not bear to keep the secret any longer if it meant depriving her daughter of the chance to be married. She reportedly said she fled because she could not afford an attorney to help her in her child custody battle, and that he ex-husband had threatened to “end it all” if she ever left him.