Chambersburg boy abducted in 2011 in mother's custody - abc27 WHTM

Chambersburg boy abducted in 2011 in mother's custody

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Niko Ateeya Niko Ateeya

A Chambersburg boy, kidnapped by his father in Egypt, has been rescued by his mother.

In July, 2011, Stefano Khalil Atteyah, known as Niko to his family, was kidnapped by his father, Mohammad Atteyah.

Niko's aunt, Maria Panagos, was there when the kidnapping happened.

"I was pushed out of the car. I was being dragged behind the vehicle and the last thing I heard out of his mouth was mommy, mommy and him banging on the window. That has taunted me for the last 20 months," said Panagos.

Niko's mother, Kalli Atteyah, refused to give up on getting her son back. When no government agency could help, she decided to go undercover. Kalli Atteyah flew to Egypt, disguised herself in a Burqa, and went to an address where she had heard her son was last seen.  Kalli's sister, Olga Kriska, says it was a waiting game from there.

"She (Kalli) would follow them and get there routine as to where he would go what they would do. She also let Niko know she was there. She came very close to him on the street in Egypt, nearly bumping shoulders with him. She also came within feet of Mohammed, but she kept her composure because she knew she had to wait for the perfect opportunity and moment to get Niko," said Kriska.

The family says Kalli waited for three months, and on March 13 she was able to get Niko when he got off the school bus, when his father was not around.

"She walked up and touched his arm and said 'Niko its mommy. Come with me', and he went right with her," said Kriska.

Niko told the family he knew it was his mother right away.

"He said, 'When I saw her blue eyes, I knew that was my mommy'," said Panagos.

Kalli and Niko went straight to the American Embassy in Egypt for safety. The family is still concerned that Niko's father will try to get him back. They are only saying Niko and his mother are in a safe undisclosed location.

"Se was bound to get her son back one way or another and that's what she did," said Paganos.

Niko's family owns the Broadway Deli in Chambersburg, and say the community helped them get through the ordeal.

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