Monday, November 30, 2009

Dad obviously planned abduction, very possibly with help, but with no concern for son's safety (St. Petersburg, Florida)

In Florida, there is still a lot of news about "allegedly" abusive dad PAUL MARTIKAINEN, who kidnapped his son from a court-ordered supervised visitation (where the "supervisor" was either a drooling idiot--or was "encouraged" on some level to look the other way). If this was truly a "lucky accident" for dad, then it was certainly an extraordinarily lucky one. The supervisor just happened to not be paying attention on the same day that dad had a pre-camoflaged boat waiting at the marina. My, my. What an amazing coincidence! And for all the folks who claim that the abuse claims were false or fabricated, let's look at the cavalier actions this "loving" and "protective" father has taken thus far:

A) No hesitation with separating a 3-year-old boy from his mother, and the trauma that's connected with that (so much for the fathers rights rhetoric on how a child needs a father AND mother)
B) Given that Dad has little to no sailing experience, putting this child at an extraordinary risk so Dad can play out his romantic martyr/pirate fantasy
C) Refusing to admit that he might need lessons before sailing, especially with a child (another manifestation of Dad's romantic martyr/pirate fantasy)
D) And two tiny, but significant details. For all Dad's planning efforts (like painting the boat a battleship gray to make detection more difficult, painting over the identification numbers), two things were overlooked (deliberately omitted?): No EPIRB, a device that helps rescuers locate boats in distress, and no child vests. Why? Could it be the case that Dad has no intention of being rescued if this little voyage runs into trouble? No plan to save his son?

I hope the authorities find this dad IMMEDIATELY because this has bad intentions written all over it, despite all the predictable excuse-making we're hearing from Dad's family and friends.

At St. Petersburg marina, boaters worry about father, son he may have abducted
By Emily Nipps and Andy Boyle, Times Staff Writers
Posted: Nov 30, 2009 09:19 AM

ST. PETERSBURG — A Palm Bay father who authorities say kidnapped his 3-year-old son and set out to sea in a camouflaged sailboat had no prior boating or sailing experience, according to boaters who say they know him.

Those who got to know 35-year-old Paul Martikainen were worried Monday morning as they tended to their boats at Salt Creek Marina in St. Petersburg. Witnesses at the marina said they saw Martikainen and the boy, Luke Finch, get into the 32-foot Bristol sailboat, according to Cocoa Beach Police.

Debra Van Skiver, who works for a towing company near the marina, said she sold the boat, a 1977 32-foot Bristol, to Martikainen for $6,109 during the third week of October. He told friends he was purchasing it for someone in Arkansas and would be transporting it after working on it, but Martikainen himself had no sailing experience.

He appeared to be living aboard the boat as he worked on it, said Ted Scaratt, whose boat was docked next to Martik's.

He mentioned he would try sailing it after visiting his son over Thanksgiving, Van Skiver said, and she advised him to take some boating classes first.

"This is a man with not a lot of sailing experience," Van Skiver said, noting that she has a child too. "It is impossible to take care of a child and sail a boat without multiple people."

The boat was recently painted battleship gray, covering the identifying numbers and making the vessel difficult to find in the water. This led authorities to believe the abduction was planned, according to Cocoa Beach police spokeswoman Barbara Matthews.

Finch was reported missing Saturday afternoon after he disappeared from a Cocoa park during a visit with his father monitored by a court-appointed supervisor. Martikainen, 35, was able to slip away sometime after noon.

An Amber Alert sent out Saturday evening said Martikainen was thought to be traveling in a green 1995 Ford Explorer with tag number 142KEA. Shortly after news of the alert ran on local news broadcasts, a caller told authorities that the vehicle was at the marina, Matthews said.

People who got to know Martikainen at the marina described him as a nice, friendly guy who often brought doughnuts to share with other boaters.

Scaratt, Martikainen's neighbor at the marina, said Martikainen has dual citizenship and said he once served in the military in Finland. "He never gave an indication that he was capable of this," Scaratt said.

Van Skiver said the boat was seaworthy. It has a sleeping cabin, a kitchenette and standard safety equipment such as a compass and VHF radio. He recently purchased a GPS system before Thanksgiving, she said, but it has no EPIRB, a device that helps rescuers locate boats in distress.

The boat also had adult life vests but no child vests, and Van Skiver didn't know if Martikainen bought one.

The U.S. Coast Guard is assisting the Cocoa Beach police in the search for the father and son, thought to be in danger. The Coast Guard is broadcasting an alert about Martikainen on a marine emergency channel, the Orlando Sentinel reported

Martikainen was ordered to have supervised visitation because of previous allegations of abuse against the boy, Matthews said.

Matthews said the child's mother is "afraid … but very hopeful." The mother or other relatives of the boy could not be reached.

Martikainen has an arrest record that includes driving without a license and failing to go to court multiple times in the 1990's. In 1999 he was arrested in Palm Beach for trafficking Ecstasy, a felony.

In February he was charged with child abuse and domestic battery.