Hello there guys! My name is Marc Copeland and I was a "kidnapped" child wanted by the Police and FBI from around the ages of 5-6 to 16. My mother is French and my father is American so this turned into an international custody case. Here is some links to the case: http://www.angelfire.com/rock/cribbage/marc.html https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.tapatalk.com/groups/porchlightusa/viewtopic.php%3ft=2490&amp=1 And here is proof the case was resolved: http://www.forthelost.org/blog/2009/02/26/marc-copeland-found-safe/ I also have proof I am who I say I am if the mods need to verify it. I am currently 27 years old and work as a medical laboratory technician and am doing fine, please ask me anything! _^

Edit: working with the mods guys and girls to submit proof that I am who I say I am. I understand totally they are just trying to protect people from scammers. Thread should hopefully be unlocked soon I already submitted proof to them. Thanks for your patience!

Edit 2: Wow Guys your support has been amazing! I could never expect for this AMA to blow up like this and I feel truly lucky you all care so much. Since my inbox is getting is getting completely out of control I would love if anyone wanting to be my writer or work on any book or movie deal please also send a copy of your info to my work email [email protected] I truly don't know where this will go but many people have been asking for a book and I feel very honored that people want to hear my story that badly. Also Please guys if you work in publishing or know someone reputable that does send me an email also I feel overwhelmed and am not sure how to proceed as I truly never expected this!

Edit 3: people have been asking where to contact me to chat or ask a question here is my twitter for anyone that wants to reach out to me. Marc Copeland @Aprobeandaplyon

Edit 4: I'm back guys for the rest of the night I'll be on and off if anyone who has any more questions I'd be happy to answer them!

Comments: 1290 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

Nonagizz3540 karma

Were you aware from the beginning that you were kidnapped or as you got older did you realize?

Hydra9683888 karma

I was aware from the beginning.

Nonagizz1910 karma

What kept you from running up to someone and telling them? Did you not attended school for those 10 years? Did you have to use a fake name or anything ever?

Hydra9683807 karma

Yes my fake name was James. I didn't run up to someone the whole time because if I did my father would have gone to prison and from my memories of living with my mother and her now husband I didn't want to go back to them. I was homeschooled the whole ten years.

venice82624 karma

From what I’m reading your mother and step father weren’t the good guys, your dad was, he was just guilty of wanting to be with his son “against the law”, which sounds ridiculous to me to be honest. I’m glad you are safe and well. Wish you all the happiness and success.

Hydra9683254 karma

I know I am biased but yes pretty much your opinion is spot on in my opinion. Thank you so much for looking into this so much. It really warms my heart when people don't just jump to conclusions about my case.

rickydingo275 karma

That is a horrifying dilemma. Glad you made it through

Hydra968207 karma

Thank you for your support _^


Why didn't you want to live with your mother and her husband?

Hydra968822 karma

My mother wasn't very attentive or loving and my mother's now husband hated me since I was a kid from a different guy.

felipe50832067 karma

I read about this case in law school. How do you feel about being a part of a landmark case to international law?

Hydra9682095 karma

I never realized this!!! Wow are you serious and can you link me to this that is so amazing to me. Lol I should write a book about my experiences! Thank you for the info. :)

Aphorism1031246 karma

Def. Write a book. Find a good editor or someone to help write it. It’s a unique situation that also deconstructs and flips some cliches about similar situations or stories.

Hydra9681212 karma

If any writers wish to contact me feel free to do so and I would love to work on a book with you. Thank you for the support.

shulastain1725 karma

oh geez, what a rough AMA. My Wife is French and I'm American and our son was born in France and Now we're living in the states. Marriage not going so well and she has threatened to take him back to France without me.

I guess, my question is, is there anything your mom could have done to get back to you? Sounds like you weren't very interested in seeing her but it just scares me reading this.


Hydra9681656 karma

God this hurts my heart. What you need to understand is that French law supports French citizens rights. That means if your wife goes back to France with your child you may legally have no recourse. I am just a guy not a legal expert but I really feel for you and I'm sorry I don't know what to advise you;(;(

JohnBraulio1036 karma

What is your current relationship with your father? Are you guys still close?

Hydra9681564 karma

We have a great relationship and I talk to him weekly.

vauxdeeohdoh926 karma

Do you believe your Father was right in doing what he did?

Do you think you were denied the right to make your own decision?

Were you abused by your Mother ? were you missing her every day?

Hydra9682613 karma

I know people will try to spin this as I was psychologically manipulated but my father was always great to me. My mother and father were very young when they married and just not right for each other. My mom cheated on my dad and left us but her parents made her try to get me back. I lived in the USA as a normal kid with my dad for a time before this whole situation. My mother is a very smart person but all my interactions with her post 18 make me feel she was perhaps spoiled in her youth and not ready to deal with a young child. I personally feel she kept up after my dad for monetary reasons (she would get donations via missing child support groups and she had her own website up at one time). I don't feel my mother was right in what she did but I do feel she felt she was right. I was never denied or hidden from the fact we were on the run my dad would constantly ask me if I wished to go back to my mother or if I wanted to turn ourselves in. Edit: No I was never abused by my father.

GoodLeftUndone604 karma

I was only missing for a couple months, but my father had kidnapped me as well. The issue was that because of my age at the time I didn’t think anything of it. I just thought I was staying with my dad for one reason or another. I know your situation wasn’t as much a kidnapping as it was just more so your dad doing right by you. But do you feel like initially you didn’t think it was anything serious because of your age? Like I did with assuming it was all normal?

I should add that my dad was and is a shit abusive piece of shit and never gave me the option of going to my mom. But I still didn’t recognize it was wrong due to age.

Hydra968891 karma

I realized very quickly it was a serious situation. My father and I lived in Mexico at the start of this situation so just driving from North Carolina to Mexico definitely made me realized it was very serious. We actually moved very regularly the whole situation so this was one of the hardest parts.

GoodLeftUndone239 karma

I was held in one spot not overly far from home so your displacement so far away from your home definitely makes sense why it hit more suddenly. But it does sound like your father was still very good to you through most of this. Is that true? I know with mine like many other kidnapping victims it always tends to turn abusive quickly. The issue was that I was abused from birth so I also didn’t know that wasn’t something that was right. But your father genuinely sounds like he was trying to do the best thing humanly possible for you while still being a good parent/person and offering you a life with your mother. Am I reading that correctly?

Hydra968339 karma

I'm really sorry for your experience. One love brother or sister and big hugs. My father was a very gentle person and I was treated very well. I'm honestly very lucky.

grrliz879 karma

None of those links say what happened to your dad. So... what happened?

Hydra9681789 karma

My dad is living a normal life now after the authorities dropped the case. The person responsible for our FBI investigation came to the conclusion that my mother was in essence abusing the USA justice system and we were able to negotiate an agreement to turn ourselves in when I was 15/16

TheGrapeSlushies749 karma

Thank goodness. It sounds like your father was trying so hard to protect you.

Hydra968859 karma

He was, thank you for the support.

Hereibe876 karma

If you could go back in time and talk to your dad before he kidnapped younger-you, what would you say?

Hydra9682126 karma

Do it. I loved every minute with my father and honestly feel I became a better person from the suffering I experienced.

OneShotForAll595 karma

What was the culture shock of college like? How did you handle that type of massive transition?

Hydra9681414 karma

Really bad. I was obsessed with impressing people but I had literally no social skills. My brilliant plan was to get really good grades because then I thought people would like me as in my mind I would be intelligent and refined. This turned out horrible of course but I did graduate my associate's with a 3.93 GPA. I was also the youngest person to ever enter my field at my college since I got my GED at 16.

spikerman549 karma

Thanks for making the ama.

It sounds like you weren’t harmed and abused and your current relationship with your mother is strained.

After this what is your reactions to her supporters?

Hydra968922 karma

No problem I feel finally ready to talk about my situation and I feel like these international cases aren't really understood very well. I was never upset that people supported my mother I can see from the outside how people really could feel a child deserves or is supposed to be with their mother. I am a bit unhappy however that my mother took money from donations with no intention in my opinion to actually ever find me. I feel after a few years she actually secretly thought the situation turned out well which is pretty sad. She is now remarried with 2 children. My half sister silk is actually a moderately famous French model: https://www.city-models.com/women/mainboard/1568-silk-motyl/

_cass_hole288 karma

Do you have a relationship with your half siblings? If so, what ate their thoughts on the "kidnapping"?

Hydra968493 karma

At the moment no because I feel they would rightfully take my mother's side since this is their parent. But I hope in the future I can visit France and we can meet up without my mother present. I also keep in touch with my mother's father my maternal grandfather.

RowdyWrongdoer433 karma

If you could choose to be famous for something other than this, what would that be?

Hydra9681055 karma

This sounds really stupid to say out loud but I'm huge into starcraft and league of legends. I would love to be a commentator for this games but I fear I couldn't find work as it's a very small industry but this is my secret dream_^

Cashmiir1052 karma

Hey! I work at Riot Games. Throw me a DM and let's chat!

Can't promise anything, but I can put you in contact with the right people and answer any questions you have.

Hydra968677 karma

Wow!!!! Amazing man I will. Thank you so much for the invite to talk that is truely cool of you! I'm at the store but I'll send you a DM soon as I get home to my desktop!

Beatlesfan087389 karma

What was it like transitioning from being “kidnapped” to not?

Hydra9681067 karma

Really, really tough. I was homeschooled my whole life and went to get my GED and into college never having been to a grade school since like 6. It was tough to connect to people for many years and I had trouble forming relationships. Just writing this AMA still gives me anxiety to this day but I am constantly trying to overcome that feeling of never belonging. I am very lucky now to be married to a great woman and am very happy overall but my teenage and early 20's were very rough.

Baku010328 karma

Did your father face any legal repercussions after it was made known?

Hydra968737 karma

My father was very lucky to work with a man named forest in the FBI handing our case. Basically both him and the local police department had come to the conclusion that my mother was abusing the justice system for her own gain so we were able to turn ourselves in with no serious repercussions.

Magnetobama256 karma

How was it possible to avoid authorities so long? Is it that easy to officially live under a different name in the US? Don't you need to get things like IDs or other documents from time to time or register somewhere?

Hydra968585 karma

It is very difficult and honestly I don't know if we would have made it today. You have to understand this was in the early 2000 where security was not as good as today. When we went into Mexico we didn't even need a passport from what I remember. My dad fixed up old Volkswagen beetles to sell and various other jobs. We were often very poor and I remember the feeling of hunger well to this very day when we didn't have enough food etc.

MK10196 karma

This hits me hard. I was a poor kid and grew up hungry all the time too with no food and just trying to sleep so you don't have to be awake and starving. It is a feeling you never forget.

Hydra968190 karma

So true. I'm like 180 now but after the situation I ate myself to 220 pounds because in my mind I always feared tommorow I wouldn't have food again.

Hydra968248 karma

From the OP: wow guys I'm shocked this blew up. Thank you so much for the support. Several people have mentioned for me to write a book and while I'd love too I'm a terrible writer but if there is anyone out there willing to write it feel free to contact me I'm really shocked this has generated so much support thank you all and I will try to answer as many questions as I can!!! I would love to go into more depth into the life lessons I feel I've learned and the experiences I've had. If you guys want this feel free to upvote and I can try to make it happen with a willing writer.

StegoSpike207 karma

Did you have any close calls with being caught?

Hydra968451 karma

Yes one time my father and I were found out while living in Mexico and were tipped off before the authorities could arrive. It was pretty scary as a kid.

ncont56 karma

How were you guys recognized all the way in Mexico?

Hydra968146 karma

We were staying in a small trailer park in baja Mexico. I was friends with the owner's child and his mom or someone she knew seen me on a missing persons website. Luckily we were tipped off and escaped.

VerityParody206 karma

Thank you for sharing your story. What is your opinion on issuing an Amber Alert for immediate familial abductions?

Hydra968456 karma

I think it probably helps more kids then it hurts and I generally support it.

VerityParody49 karma

Thank you for answering. Idk why but this is a fairly common discussion in my household. I really value your experience and opinion on this issue as you've experienced it first hand.

bennett2159 karma

I didn't even realize there are arguments against amber alerts?

Hydra96892 karma

Apparently some people don't like to be bothered on their phones from what I hear.

James_Plays_Games188 karma

Are you interested in having kids of your own? How do you get along with kids from that age range?

Hydra968420 karma

Yes me and my wife wish to have children after we move into a permanent home. I get along with kids great and my wife is actually a early education teacher :)

vickipaperclips159 karma

How was it possible for you to move around so much with a fake name? Wouldn't you need documentation eventually, or did your father find convincing fakes?

Hydra968239 karma

Fake Id/etc. It's crazy to think about but no one expects you to be a fugitive. Also we moved around every year or 2 to avoid too many questions.

djabor144 karma

Do you feel that your view of your mother could be as a result of being with your father all this time?

You mentioned some negative traits and i was curious if you think your view of them might by coloured by your experience.

Looking back would you (want to) do anything different?

Hydra968436 karma

One thing I want to say is my father always talked about my mother positively. He always took the blame upon himself for the situation. But yeah this thought did cross my mind. However after emailing and having contact with my mother after 18 I realized she just simply didn't care for me that much. I realize as an adult I am very very lucky to have even one parent that loves me very much as so many children have none.

Spivit97 karma

You sound like a fantastic person with a lot more life perspective than many others. I'm glad everything worked out for you in the end.

Hydra96868 karma

Thank you for your kind comment I don't know if I deserve that much praise but I'll try to live up to that high standard.

Encyclopedia_Green141 karma

How did you end up back in the USA? Did your dad bring you back? Is he incarcerated because of this?

Hydra968410 karma

Yes funnily enough this was before usa/Mexico border security was tightened like today. My dad bought me a huge Mexican sombrero hat and we posed as tourists and just walked back into the USA. I was really calm but I remember my dad being intensely afraid.

snitchless131 karma

What life perspectives do you have that you think might be more unique because of having gone through an experience like yours?

Hydra968373 karma

Being alone for many weeks/ months at a time except for my dad. I read ALOT as a kid like I remember reading Harry Potter's goblet of fire in a single day as a young teen. I created worlds in my mind and kind of thought of myself as a stoic philosopher isolated from society. Books and video games(when we could afford them) were my escape.

Jackets4800110 karma

How are things today? What is your life like now?

Hydra968387 karma

My life is fairly good now I'm married to a great woman from China and we are actually headed to Nanjing,China in 2 weeks to visit her parents. My work situation is sometimes not the best but it's far from the worst. We are currently saving with a dream to be able to buy a house in Massachusetts.

AnotherCuriousHuman73 karma

Current market for houses out here in Mass. are insane. Good luck though!

Hydra96898 karma

So true. We are looking in Cape cod but we dont have enough for a down payment. It's really tough nowadays but I try to keep a positive outlook.

IAmSuperLonely97 karma

What was is like having to constantly adapt to new circumstances? Did you have to start learning Spanish when you went to Mexico, or did you already know it?

Hydra968187 karma

Basically it became like a game in my mind. I felt like a new person in each situation and weirdly it kinda felt like an alter-ego. In many ways I feel "James" is the real me and "Marc" is fake if that makes any sense.

loveparamore62 karma

Do you go by James or Marc now? How did it feel if/when you switched back to being called Marc?

Hydra968107 karma

Marc because it's awkward to explain why I'd like to be called James and it's just too much trouble.

sofo0766 karma

One med lab tech to another, which is worse, sed rates or clotted purple tops?

Hydra96890 karma

Sed rates. Because you know the answer secretly means nothing. Lol

SumoPikmin66 karma

Do you regret any decision from the past today?

Hydra968297 karma

Yeah in a way I do. My first girlfriend was from Malaysia at around 20. I was so desperate for love and attention I stayed for years with someone who cheated on me and treated me like crap. This was a result of desperately wanting to be loved and accepted. I also struggled with depression for many years and without the good help of my friend Dustin I very well may have committed suicide honestly.

SoulGlowArsenio58 karma

Did you have any friends while living with your dad? Peers your age

Hydra96899 karma

No we moved around constantly and after Mexico I had very few friends. We lived in California for a time in my young teens so I made a few friendships there but we had to move suddenly again which hurt all the more.

Moal57 karma

Because you had to be hidden for much of your childhood, I imagine there probably weren’t very many public photos of you growing up. Did your dad ever keep a photo album of you through the years? Or is there a large gap in the photos from the time you went “missing”?

Hydra968100 karma

Yes he did but they were all polaroids at the time and 90 percent of them were lost when we moved once ;(

dwitchagi40 karma

How was your living situation during those years?

What happened to your father after?

Did you go to the police?

Thank you!

Hydra96864 karma

Our living situation changed a lot. Sometimes we did ok and other times we were very poor. My father is doing ok now obviously it effected his life a lot but I perfer to not disclose life events that are not my own without first asking my father.

1800LackToast38 karma

What do you do for fun these days and what makes you happy?

Hydra96866 karma

Play starcraft 2 and LoL. Spent time with my wife. Read and listen to audiobooks.

tahlyn32 karma

How did you get "found"?

Hydra96883 karma

By looking inside myself :)

FullDesadulation31 karma

I know I'm a little late to the party, but after a Google search I'm curious. There's an age progression photo out there and I'm wondering if it actually bore any resemblance to you?

Hydra96857 karma

Me and my dad looked at those and had a good laugh as did the police when we turned ourselves in. The answer is no not very well at all Lol

FitzyII31 karma

My dads childhood friend, at the age of about 40 learned that his mother had not "abandoned" him and his brothers and sisters, like his father said, but his father fled with them and his mother spent years looking. When he learned this, he felt robbed. Do you feel robbed of good memories?

Hydra96831 karma

Not really. As a child I felt this way sometimes but ultimately I feel this can lead to a victim's mentality and negative self worth over time. I had to realize I had the childhood I had but only I could determine how I thought about it. No one can control your mind or emotions but you.

manchuriancanidate28 karma

Hey Marc. I’m from Sylva NC, and being it’s a small town that is relatively remote, I’m curious how you wound up there since your mom is from France. Did your dad have roots there?

You’re amazing for going through this and being able to be open about it. Here’s to the future!

Hydra96838 karma

My grandparents have a house there . When me and my father turned ourselves in we needed to stay somewhere so we stayed with them for a time.

oneFORESTone26 karma

I really appreciate your openness about your story. Did you have any mentors or other non-parental figures help you with the challenging transitions? If you don't mind me asking, did you ever meet with a child psychiatrist or other health professionals that helped you think through some of the challenges and transitions? Any other mentors/social support that really helped?

Hydra96839 karma

This might seem silly but book characters were always my biggest role models. Drizzt do'urden specifically was one role model that always resonated with me incredibly. I always thought about seeing a psychologist but never have.For one thing my situation was pretty unique. But I guess another part of it is it was a deeply personal experience that is hard to describe and I don't know how to share it in a way people could understand.

Billygin21 karma

Do you expect to have children one day? If yes, is there anything you learned from your parents that you don't want to replicate?

Hydra96843 karma

Yes for sure. Don't have kids too quickly before you know if your marriage will work out.

GR7XL321 karma

You were aware of the seriousness of the situation, but did you at any point of time actually felt kidnapped?

Hydra96843 karma

No I didn't. It was a choice I made each day.

mike_8617 karma

You mentioned some of the hardships you endured made you a better person. In what ways has it made you who you are today, as opposed to the person you would be if this never happened?

And thanks for the AMA!

Hydra96835 karma

Being alone for long periods of time make you face your true self. I feel like I know myself better then most people. I also have deep scars from years alone.

thirumalaibalaji14 karma

What is the feeling you experienced and first thing you did after getting rescued? With what kind of activities you spent your time?

Hydra96857 karma

I wasn't really rescued in any way. When we turned ourselves into the police it was really scary but they were super nice to us.They mainly asked us "How did you do it"? Etc. They also offered their condolences on my mother as many of them had met her and didn't have fond memories .

Shadou_Fox13 karma

By the sounds of hit, your father is not in jail, and you are still close to him, what is he doing now?

Hydra96844 karma

I need to ask him before I discuss aspects of his life sorry I'd love to answer you but it's not for me to tell.

big_boi_gappy10 karma

Did you develop Stockholm syndrome at all?

Hydra96863 karma

Any reply to this is probably self biased so I'll let you come to your own conclusions.

NikkiVicious3 karma

Not directly related to the case, exactly, but how did you get bitten by a shark? What was that like? You were obviously very young when it happened since it was listed in the description of you at 6... but just, like, HOW? Did it happen in shallow water and your parents just weren't paying attention or something?

(I know, completely random, and I'm so sorry, that's just something that jumped out at me and left me screaming wtf...)

Hydra9684 karma

My father was bitten by a shark when he was young surfing in Florida. I was never bitten by a shark I'm not sure how you heard that.