Isaac John Savoie

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Above Images: Isaac, circa 2009

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 11, 2009 from Franklin, Tennessee
  • Classification: Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: October 9, 2000
  • Age: 8 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'11, 85 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Biracial (Caucasian/Japanese) male. Black hair, brown eyes.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Isaac and his sister Rebecca disappeared from Franklin, Tennessee on August 11, 2009. They were abducted by their non-custodial mother, Noriko Esaki Savoie. A photograph and information for Noriko are posted below this case summary. A felony warrant for parental kidnapping was issued for her on August 17, 2009.

    Isaac and Rebecca's father, Christopher J. Savoie, is an American citizen. He and Noriko married in 1995 and lived in Japan with the children until their separation in 2007. Christopher obtained Japanese citizenship. He returned to the United States after he separated from Noriko and she followed him there, although they didn't live together. They got a divorce in America and Christopher remarried, although they remained legally married according to Japanese law. He and Noriko and agreed that both of them would stay in Tennessee and raise the children there. According to Christopher, Noriko received an $800,000 divorce settlement as well as substantial alimony and child support. According to the custody agreement, her primary residence would be in Tennessee. Christopher would spend 180 days a year with Isaac and Rebecca, and Noriko would take the children to Japan for a six-week vacation every summer.

    However, immediately after the custody agreement was finalized Noriko began indicating she wanted to return to Japan with the children. She stated she was concerned by the fact that the children losing their Japanese identity and becoming Americans. Christopher filed for a restraining order to prohibit her from doing so. Noriko challenged the order in court. The judge permitted her to take Rebecca and Isaac to Japan for the six-week vacation, relying on her word that she would return them to the United States per the custody agreement. She did, in fact, return them, but whilst in Japan Noriko enrolled the children in Japanese schools and made other arrangements for a permanent relocation to that country. After Noriko and the children returned to the U.S., without Christopher's knowledge she packed up her, Isaac and Rebecca's belongings and shipped them to Japan, and also transferred all her money from American to Japanese bank accounts.

    When the 2009 school year started, Christopher learned his children hadn't started the year at their Tennessee school; instead, their mother had taken them and fled in violation of the custody agreement and court order. When Christopher told the family court what had happened, they immediately gave him sole custody of the children, but the order cannot be enforced as long as the children and Noriko are out of the country.

    In late September 2009, Christopher flew to Japan to try to get the children back. He met Rebecca and Isaac in rural Yanagawa, Japan while they were on their way to school with their mother. Christopher took them from Noriko and drove to the United States consulate, almost 50 miles away, to get passports for them and fly them back to America. The Japanese police were waiting for him when he arrived and they arrested him at the gate and jailed him for 17 days. Immediately after his release, he left Japan and went home. He hasn't had contact with his children since.

    The children's abduction has received international attention in both American and Japanese media, but Christopher fears he will not see his son and daughter again until they are grown. Although their whereabouts are known, they are considered to be missing but they aren't with their custodial father.

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    Noriko Esaki Savoie
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    Above: Noriko Esaki Savoie

    Age: June 4, 1972
    Age: 37 years old
    Height and Weight: 5'8, 112 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Asian female. Black hair, black eyes.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Franklin Police Department
    615-794-2513

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    The Abduction of Isaac and Rebecca Savoie
    CNN
    CBS News
    MSNBC
    Interpol

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated August 25, 2011; picture added.

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