Heartbreaking search for daughter
A DESPERATE American father whose daughter was abducted from the United States eight years ago believes she may be living on the Northern Rivers.
Filmmaker Brozzi Lunetta, from Los Angeles, said there was strong evidence people in the area had helped nine-year-old Reya Ellefsen Lunetta and her mother, a Norwegian singer named Camilla Ellefsen Lunetta, elude police.
He said his plea to local residents was ‘please help find my daughter'.
“It's not about putting Camilla in prison,” Mr Lunetta, 45, said. “It's about my daughter knowing that her father didn't die in a car crash in Los Angeles. It breaks my heart to think that, if I don't find her, she will never know that is not true.”
In the last eight years, Mr Lunetta has travelled to Norway, India, Australia and New Zealand, and spent almost $500,000 on his heartbreaking search for his daughter.
After fleeing the United States when Reya was one year old, Ms Ellefsen Lunetta, 36, is known to have travelled to Europe, then India, before landing in Perth in February 2004 on a Norwegian passport.
Since arriving in Australia she has used alias names including Zelma Singer, Camilla Ellerson and Camilla Sullivan and changed her daughter's name to Hira, which means diamond in Hindi.
Mr Lunetta recently arrived in Maroochydore, Queensland, to continue his search for Reya with the help of private investigator Col Chapman, who has worked on the case pro bono for three years.
While Mr Chapman had received anonymous tip-offs from at least six members of the public in March and April that Ms Ellefsen Lunetta and Reya were seen in Caloundra and the Peachester-Beerwah region, Mr Lunetta said it was court documents centred on a 2006 raid that had attracted him back to Australia.
Those documents included details of people his former wife knew in the Goonengerry region, south-west of Mullumbimby, he said.
Mr Lunetta said he found it disappointing that those who may have assisted his wife had not been placed under ongoing surveillance, but that he believed Australian Federal Police had decided they had spent enough money on what had so far been a fruitless search.
The AFP issued a statement at the weekend saying they did not comment on the specifics of investigations and would not confirm or deny who they are, or are not, investigating.
In addition to an abduction charge, Ms Ellefsen Lunetta also faces a charge of removing an American minor against her will from American territory and a possible seven-to-10-year prison sentence.
“I don't want her to see her mother led away in handcuffs,” Mr Lunetta said.
“Despite the pain my daughter's abduction has caused me the mantra must remain, what's best for Reya?”
Reya Ellefsen Lunetta has blue eyes, a fair complexion, a brown birth mark on the sole of her foot and a red mark on the rear of her head. Camilla Lunetta is Caucasian and has blue eyes, a tattoo on her right shoulder blade and her front tooth was chipped.
Anyone with information about the pair should contact The Northern Star.