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'Missing' mother and 3 kids may be hiding out and getting help from her family

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 17:17:46-04

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Roseville Police call it a case of parental kidnapping. They tell 7 Action News they’ve run out of leads searching for a mother and her three kids.

Are they in danger? Or are they hiding out with some help?

Thirty-two-year-old Ruth Ann Amo and her kids, 12-year-old Bella, 11-year-old Vanessa, and 7-year-old Samuel have not been seen since a judge signed an order on July 8 turning custody over to their day, 33-year-old John Tenny. They divorced in 2017.

Supporters and the family of the mother say police are persecuting the wrong person. That should be turned on the father.

“There’s a lot more to this story. And it’s deeper. Now my daughter has come demonized and he’s the choir boy,” says Michael Amo, Ruth’s father who runs a church in Roseville on 12 Mile near Groesbeck.

Roseville Deputy Police Chief Mitch Berlin tells 7 Action News, “We’re not receiving any cooperation from the family or friends at this time.”

As we were talking with Ruth’s family outside the church a group showed up with signs to demonstrate their support.

Michael Amo says the father was charged with criminal sexual conduct, went to trial, and was found not guilty by a jury. But the kids are still not safe with him.

Police say they want to talk with the kids even if it’s on FaceTime or Zoom.

Deputy Chief Berlin adds, “Very frustrating. Our detective’s main goal is to make sure the kids are safe and healthy and then we’ll have to honor the court’s order at that time.”

That court order is why the family is not cooperating.

“It’s going to put them back into the father’s hands. We don’t want to jeopardize them,” says Ruth’s mother.

John Tenny the father tells 7 Action News he was found not guilty, he hasn’t seen his kids since June, and this is not about him.

We had this exchange with Michael Amo:

JIM: Do you know where your daughter is?
AMO: Well, if I did.
JIM: It’s a yes or no.
AMO: I answered your question. They’re safe. She’s safe. And the children are safe.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

The attorney for Ruth Amo, Jam Jeffery Rubenstein tells us he’s advised her of the consequences of parental kidnapping. And if she is charged, he would represent her for free.