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3 boys believed abducted by fathers found in the Netherlands

By the CNN Wire Staff
Brothers George Silah, left, and John Silah were sought for allegedly abducting their three sons in July 2008.
Brothers George Silah, left, and John Silah were sought for allegedly abducting their three sons in July 2008.
  • Three boys went missing in July 2008, allegedly abducted by their fathers
  • They were recovered Tuesday and their fathers arrested
  • Report: Mothers left Saturday for the Netherlands

(CNN) -- Three children allegedly abducted from Southern California by their fathers, who are two brothers, were recovered in the Netherlands and the men arrested, the FBI said.

Brothers John and George Silah were sought for abducting their three sons in July 2008 from their homes in Los Angeles, California, according to the FBI. John Silah allegedly kidnapped his son Greg, now 12, and George Silah is accused of kidnapping his sons Alexander, now 14, and Zaven, 11.

State arrest warrants were issued for the Silahs on July 31, 2008, and federal arrest warrants were issued the following month, authorities said.

"After following domestic and international leads in this investigation, agents with the FBI and detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department directed their focus overseas," the FBI said in a statement Friday.

After the investigation led to Athens, Greece, Greek police conducted "an exhaustive investigation" that led them to the Netherlands, the FBI said. "The investigative efforts of law enforcement in Greece and the Netherlands resulted in the identification of the Silah brothers and the victim children."

Authorities in Los Angeles obtained a provisional arrest warrant allowing authorities in the Netherlands to arrest the brothers and recover the children Tuesday, the FBI said.

The children were being held by Dutch protective services, and FBI agents will travel with the children's mothers to the Netherlands, the statement said. The Silah brothers were in Dutch police custody.

The mothers of the three boys have issued tearful public pleas for the return of their sons, believing the men may have fled for their native Syria.

"Alex, Zaven, I miss you guys so much," mother Zanni Kalayejian said in August 2008 at a press conference, according to CNN affiliate KABC. Greg's mother, Christine Stackhouse, promised at the same press conference, "I'm going to come and find you. I'm going to bring you back home."

Greg's grandmother, Araxie Jeambart, told KABC after the children were recovered that she wants to see her grandson with her own eyes. "We have spent so much money, so much time, so much crying, so much suffering," she said.

Stackhouse and Kalayejian were planning to leave for the Netherlands on Saturday, KABC reported.