It’s been quiet in Micah Parker’s home since June 10—too quiet.
That was the last time the Stone Mountain resident saw his 13-year-old daughter Jordan, and his three sons, Micah Jr., 12, Isaiah, 11, and Caleb, 9.
That day, the four children were allegedly taken by Melisa Ivey—their non-custodial mother who owes approximately $17,000 in child support—to somewhere in Texas.
Parker and his sons were away from their home doing some football conditioning, Parker said about the day they went missing.
“I received a call from Kennedy [his ex-wife’s 15-year-old daughter] asking if she could come over for a while to visit Jordan,” Parker said.
Parker and his sons later returned home. When Kennedy, who was living with Ivey, said she was leaving to walk to a friend’s house in the neighborhood, Parker told the rest of the children to walk with her.
Approximately 10 minutes later when the children did not return, Parker unsuccessfully looked for them. He called the police when he could not find them.
“Then I received a text [from Ivey] stating, ‘The kids were with me for the summer per a court order,’” Parker said.
Ivey was allowed a two-week visitation with the children, but was required to give Parker a one-week notice, he said. And she was not allowed to take the children out of state.
“I didn’t even know she was living out of state,” Parker said.
It took the DeKalb County Police Department “like an hour to even come,” Parker said.
The case was assigned to a detective who “from the jump made it sound like it was no big deal,” Parker said. “The detective said it’s really not a priority to them.”
Parker admits the relationship between him and his ex-wife has been “messy.”
In fact, DeKalb Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said Parker and Ivey have “both have levied various charges against each other.”
“This has been an ongoing issue with both parties since 2006,” Parish said.
Parish said the police department is considering this an interference with custody case, which occurs when a family member takes a child without the custodial parent’s permission.
Parker has had custody officially since 2007 after the divorce of the two.
“I wasn’t going to allow my kids to live without stability in their lives,” Parker said. “She agreed. She just wanted to be free.”
“This is strictly a child custody case,” Parish said. DeKalb detectives have been in contact with Texas officials who have determined that “there was no reason to believe the children are in danger,” Parish said.
But that is no comfort to Parker who has not heard from his children since June.
“It feels like the [police] are treating it like a lost dog [case] or something,” said Parker, who has spent more than $2,000 in attorney and private investigator fees to try to find his children.
And what has the money gotten him?
“Nothing,” Parker said. “I still don’t know where my children are. I still haven’t talked to my children.
“I feel helpless,” said Parker, who has worked as a trainer at an Atlanta-based financial services company for nine years. “I felt that when I called the police that night, I would have my kids back within days.
“It’s not a big deal to the system,” Parker said. “They don’t see it for what it is. Somebody came and took my kids.”
Now Parker’s hope is an Aug. 16 magistrate’s court hearing that is expected to determine whether there has been custody interference.