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Police: Kidnapper of American girl is biological father

January 16, 1997

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (AP) _ Police believe that a 5-year-old American girl kidnapped on her way to kindergarten was taken by her biological father in a carefully arranged scheme involving several accomplices.

Christopher B. Handsel, of Fort Collins, Colo., allegedly kidnapped his daughter, Kaelyn Elizabeth Morgan, on Tuesday while she was being driven to school in San Juan Cosala, about 25 miles south of here.

Handsel has a 1993 court order giving him custody of the girl, Jalisco state police investigator Ruben Ortega said Wednesday. The girl has been living in nearby Ajijic with her mother and stepfather.

Handsel apparently arrived in Mexico on Saturday with five other people to arrange the abduction, Ortega said.

One of the abductors slammed a rented car into the stepfather’s car, forcing him to stop. Handsel’s aunt allegedly snatched Kaelyn in the confusion, Ortega said.

Two Los Angeles men _ Gregory Harley, 34, and Steve Brown, 52 _ were captured in a car chase.

Nearly 40,000 American expatriates live in the area around Guadalajara, Ajijic and Lake Chapala, known for its fine weather, colonial architecture and relatively low prices.

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