Christchurch father can’t get daughter with autism back from India

Drive 06/04/2018
Jessica Doody.

A Kiwi father searching for his missing daughter with autism has found her in Northern India, but is powerless to bring her home.

Craig Doody says his daughter Jessica has the mental age of a 16-year-old and has been brain-washed by her Indian boyfriend, who was in New Zealand on a visa.

Singh left New Zealand in December 2017, according to Immigration NZ.

Mr Doody’s family had been worried she would leave for India to follow her boyfriend, so they had got a court-imposed travel ban on her original passport.

His daughter later changed her name, got a new passport, and flew to India to meet her boyfriend, Gurdeep Singh (also known as Garry Anttal). Her Christchurch family reported her missing on March 19.

It's up to the New Zealand government to deal with this.

Mr Doody fears Singh is exploiting his daughter financially and wants to use her to gain new residency. But his 24-year-old daughter refuses to return to New Zealand.

Mr Doody says neither New Zealand or Indian authorities have been any help at all and now he fears for his life in the city of Patiala because that is where the boyfriend’s family live.

“I’m angry at the New Zealand government because every agency involved has failed, massively,” he told RadioLIVE.

Local police informed him that they had his daughter, and allowed him to visit her under strict conditions. He was allowed to ask five questions and was accompanied by the local police commissioner, 10 police officers and Singh.

He told Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen that she was came across as “lucid” in the meeting, but still fears she’s been manipulated.

“She’s basically been groomed what to say.”

Mr Doody is unsure of his next move, whether to remain in New Delhi or go to Thailand to “wait it out”.

“It’s up to the New Zealand government to deal with this… I’ve done all I can.”

Listen to the full interview with Craig Doody above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.