Cork man recounts investigator's 'very dangerous' move in son's rescue
A Cork man who went to Zambia to "rescue" his son has told of how he spent more than six months planning an operation to bring him back to Ireland, and has recounted the "very risky" and "dangerous" move by his private investigator to locate him.
Elizabeth Daka went to her native Zambia with Ethan, who is now seven, in April of last year, despite the fact that Richard Quarry had sole custody of his son.
He could not pursue his estranged wife in the courts because Zambia is not signed up to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction.
The Kinsale man, who had been fighting since April last year to get his son back, said: "I left in early December and I arrived in South Africa. I got my vehicle there and I drove up through Zimbabwe, and I had already passed over two different borders between Zambia and the south last July and this particular trip was to check out another border.
"And it was this particluar border that I decided to pass through, I felt it was the most relaxed out of the ones I had been through."
Quarry had to go to Zambia's capital, Lusaka, to plan the detailed operation which involved hiring a private investigator to find out where Ethan and his mother were living.
He said: "As a white person you do stand out, so I was in a disguise with a big bushy beard for over six weeks over there.
"Unfortunately she had just moved address and it took all of this time to find her."
Quarry had phoned his former wife to tell her that he had left gifts for her at an Embassy, and it wasn't until almost two days after telling her that she turned up to collect them, which allowed Quarry to trail her to her work.
He said: "It was kind of bizarre, because that particular morning, my private invesitgator's wife had a terrible tooth abcess so he had to take her to the hospital, and so it was me on my own.
"I had to park my car down the road, tinted windows, sit in the back, baseball cap, sunglasses and a pair of binoculars. You couldn't make it up."
After a long wait, Elizabeth finally arrived at the embassy in two cars with some friends and departed for work with Quarry following.
He said: "I now knew where she worked and the private investigator and I followed her from this bar to a house and we'd thought we had cracked it. But actually it transpired that this house was not hers, and we still don't know the relevance it plays, he went back to the bar and he did a very, very risky dangerous thing in my book.
"He confronted the two remaining staff and he accused them of working for a criminal, and that the car the last lady left in was stolen, and they crumbled.
"They basically told him 'No, this bar isn't owned by a guy, it's owned by Elizabeth, she owns that car'."
The staff then told the private investigator where she lived.
Quarry said: "With that information and the name of the bar and the registration of the car we were able to pinpoint the exact plot number."