HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Paul Fernandez loves and misses his daughter Solace. But today, neither one would recognize the other.
"I can't picture her face because I have no idea what she looks like," said Fernandez.
After his wife Kayla disappeared with their daughter, Fernandez filed for divorce.
"Because we could not find her, they had to do a divorce by publication which is where they put it out in the newspaper about the divorce and give her so much time before the trial to answer," added Fernandez.
A year later, the divorce was granted and the court appointed Fernandez sole managing conservator.
Like many parents in his situation, police first told him it was a civil matter and that they could do nothing to help him. But interference with child custody is a crime, a state jail felony that carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.
Brazoria County District Attorney Jerri Yenne said she did present this case to a grand jury but they decided to take no action.
Fernandez knows exactly where his ex-wife and daughter live in Florida but with no criminal charge filed, nothing can be done.
"I've very clearly taken every legal step that I possibly can to try to do this the right way and it seems no matter what I try to do, I'm just getting locked out," said Fernandez.
The heartbroken father said he won't rest until he knows that his daughter knows the truth.
"I didn't just abandon her. said Fernandez. "I've been looking for her this entire time."
"I don't care if she's 30 years old, I'll still try to find her," said Fernandez.