In 1995, John Clark returned to his New Mexico home and immediately noticed that something was not right.
His wife Eileen had left him a note; a single piece of paper telling him she had gone on vacation with the children.
But it seems that Eileen and the couple’s three young sons, ages 2, 5 and 7 were missing without a trace.
Little did John know it would be almost two decades before he saw his kids again.
His wife Eileen was placed on the FBI’s most wanted list and the children were listed as missing.
John was left devastated by the mysterious disappearance, but the bond with his children meant he would never stop searching for them.
When the police and the FBI could not find Eileen and the children, John turned to private investigators and lawyers.
John refused to give up. He continued to search for his sons.
Things weren’t perfect in John and Eileen’s marriage, but he didn’t expect his wife to leave him and take the kids with her, without a word of where she was going.
But was the state of their marriage really the reason for her mysterious disappearance? And why had Eileen left a note saying she was going on holiday but with no details of where?
After 15 years of despair and struggle with private detectives, hopeless clues and FBI agents, John finally learned the truth.
At this time the story had caught the attention of the world’s media with so much speculation surrounding the true story.
Many believed that Eileen and their children were dead – but thankfully this wasn’t the case.
Eileen and the children were very much alive … and living in London!
After locating his family, the next chapter of this unimaginable story awaited.
John would of course meet his sons and his wife – but not until after a long, hard fought legal battle.
Eileen claimed she left because her marriage was abusive — an accusation John denies.
Eileen was extradited to the U.S and faced charges of “international parental kidnapping,” despite protests from Human Rights Groups who says Eileen’s allegations had not been properly investigated and she was vulnerable.
‘Build memories with them’
“What she did to me was deny me my parental rights to have an opportunity to grow up and be in their life, to build memories with them. She took all that away from me,” said dad John.
Eileen Clark’s lawyers say she regrets the way she left her husband, but she had to leave her unhappy marriage.
John was eventually reunited with his two sons through the Dr Phil TV show.
Watch their emotional reunion in the video below.