My hunt is finally over: 'Overjoyed' mother reunited with two children 30 years after father snatched them in bitter custody battle
29th November 2011
A mother has told the heartbreaking story of how she finally tracked down her two children 30 years after they were snatched by her ex-husband.
Paulette Moray's children Sasha and Naomi disappeared from her home in in Ilford, east London, on July 31, 1981.
Mrs Moray and her husband Max had been locked in a bitter High Court custody battle after their marriage broke down.
Naomi had been four-years-old and her younger brother Sasha was two when they were taken by their father from the family home.
The devastated mother, now 64, spent two years frantically looking for the youngsters before Mr Moray contacted the London Evening Standard in 1983 to say that the children were living with him abroad.
The details of the 30-year-search for the two children have been revealed in a new book, The Hunt, written by journalist Ian Wishart and Paulette's new husband George London.
Paulette spent £100,000 trying to track her children down, hiring private investigators to follow leads around the world - but without success.
Mr London, a former builder, turned private investigator, finally discovered Mr Moray was living in Israel.
The breakthrough came in 2005 when he traced the kidnapper's email address.
Posing as an old friend of the family, he claimed Paulette had died and eventually managed to elicit contact details for the children - both now grown up.
Sasha, 34, is now living in Spain and Naomi, 32, who has a daughter, is still living in Israel. Max remarried another woman, called Sarah.
In a gamble, Mr London posted a copy of The Hunt to Sasha, 34. For three days he heard nothing. Then, a few days ago, he got an email from Sasha which started 'Dear Mum'.
It emerged that the two children had no idea their mother had been searching for them.
Paulette, 64, said: 'I got an email from them which was the first contact in 30 years and it was the most emotional thing that ever happened to me. I was utterly overwhelmed, overjoyed.
'I cannot wait until the first meeting. It must have been a complete shock for them to discover their mother has been looking for them for 30 years.
'I thought of them every day. You don't know where in the world they are and you wonder whether they are still alive.'
In his message Sasha wrote: 'I received the email and spent a whole day reading and trying to digest what it was that was unfolding in front of my eyes.'
He said he and Naomi had spent three days communicating with each other about what to do.
The email ended: 'We are both happy, bewildered, amazed, sad, intrigued and dumbfounded by all of this, but as you said the future can be ours - we intend to make it so. Love, your children Sasha and Naomi.'