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Parents Resolve Nasty Custody Fight

Woman, son return to U.S. from China after settling dispute with the boy's father.

October 20, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A woman returned home from China with her 5-year-old son Saturday after a tense custody battle with her Chinese ex-husband that threatened to become a diplomatic incident.

Camille Colvin, 35, spent nine days in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou negotiating with her ex-husband, Guo Rui, over their child, Griffin Guo.

"It's been a long ordeal and we're really glad it's come to an end," Colvin said at Kennedy International Airport.

They were accompanied by her brother, Cal Elliott, who went to China with her.

"Griffin's doing well. He's a little intimidated right now, but he's going to be himself in no time. He's an adorable child with a lot of energy," Elliott said.

Colvin and Elliott said they agreed to Guo's demand for money but wouldn't say how much they paid. Guo has said the money was a form of trust fund for Griffin and denied it was related to the boy's release.

Colvin's case drew the attention of high-ranking Chinese and American officials as Chinese President Jiang Zemin prepared for a visit to the United States this week.

Guo took the boy during a July visit in New York, saying custody of his son, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, should be decided under Chinese law.

He said he had no other means of seeing the child and claimed Colvin violated a California divorce agreement that gave him visitation rights.

After Colvin and Elliott arrived in Zhengzhou on Oct. 8, police placed them and Guo in a hotel suite and told them to negotiate an agreement.

Elliott had said he kept constant watch over Griffin while Colvin negotiated because police said they would grant custody to whichever spouse had physical possession of the boy.

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