Detectives' dedication credited in reuniting dad, son after 8 years

D/FW AIRPORT -- It's the reunion captured in one picture; father and son - apart for eight years - are now together in a terminal at D/FW Airport.

"I saw relief, I saw excitement, and I saw love," said Kim Malolepszy, deputy chief of the criminal division at the McKinney Police Department.

But what you don't see in the picture is the sad reality that made the moment happen; the arrest of the mom, Padmashini Devi Drees.

"We knew what flight they were coming in on and what time they were going to land," Malolepszy said. "Our main objective was to keep it calm."

Police tell us mother and father had divorced, but Devi Drees did not have custodial rights to the child. Police say she took the then two-year-old child, Drew Drees, and flew to India.

News 8 obtained an indictment dating back to July of 2007. And in October of that year, a warrant was issued for the mother's arrest.

Malolepszy told News 8 the case stayed alive thanks to the diligent work of its two detectives: Sgt. Marco Robles and Lt. Steve Riley. The McKinney police detectives had worked and waited for eight years.

"They weren't going to put it aside, they weren't going to let it die, and [Wednesday] night was the successful ending to their efforts," Malolepszy said.

Police tell us the ex-husband, Dean Drees, had some contact with the family back in India. It was through that contact that authorities were aware that mother and son were looking to return to the country.

It's still unclear why Padmashini Devi Drees wanted to come back to the U.S. But it was clear she didn't know she would be arrested right at customs at the airport.

It was a moment federal, state, and local agents worked hard to not make a public event, especially for Drew.

"You consider eight years of not seeing your child and not seeing your parent, and in that moment was significant emotion," the deputy chief said.

Padmashini Devi Drees is currently being held at the Collin County Jail and faces a charge of Interference with Child Custody.


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