|An A.M. Costa Rica reprint
Published Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, in Vol. 7, No. 188
|A.M. Costa Rica Page One
|Contents copyrighted 2008 by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. (cédula juridica 3-101-290-170). Republication without permission is prohibited under U.S. and Costa Rican laws and international conventions.|
most visible fugitive finally arrested in Heredia
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
A woman who was on the U.S. F.B.I. most wanted list has been living openly in Heredia for years, but officials appear to have put off arresting her until her daughter turned 18.
The woman is Chere Lyn Tomayko, who was sought for parental kidnapping of her daughter, Alexandria Camille Cyprian, in May 1997.
She finally was detained Wednesday by the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad, acting with the International Police Agency. Her daughter turned 18 in July.
The case of Ms. Tomayko is a strange one because the fact that she was living in Heredia was well known to employees at the U.S. Embassy here and F.B.I. agents in her home state of Texas.
Readers contacted A.M. Costa Rica reporting her whereabouts teaching English in the area after the newspaper published a story that she was a fugitive Feb. 7, 2002.
When a reporter informed embassy officials in 2002 at the request of a reader, officials there said that the case was a sensitive one and said that a female F.B.I. agent in Texas would contact the reporter to find out additional information. The agent never called.
Periodically, A.M. Costa Rica would mention Ms. Tomayko in news stories about U.S. fugitives. The most recent was last Feb. 16. The Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy never made inquires. She also was mentioned in an earlier news story about differences in official treatment of male fugitives with offspring and women with offspring.
Also periodically reporters would discuss the case with local INTERPOL agents, but they said they had no knowledge of it.
The suspicion grew that U.S. officials were keeping their hands off the case because Ms. Tomayko is white and her boyfriend is black or that they did not want to return the
daughter to the father. The U.S. F.B.I. fugitive poster listed the race of her daughter as black.
Said the F.B.I.:
From 1990 to 1996, Chere Lyn Tomayko and her
boyfriend were involved in child custody proceedings for Alexandria Camille Cyprian and acting as "joint managing guardians." In December of 1996, the Tarrant County District Court, Tarrant County, Texas, determined that both parents should retain joint custody. It was also determined that Alexandria's residence would be in Tarrant County.
In May of 1997, Chere Tomayko fled Texas with Alexandria Camille Cyprian in violation of the court order. Further investigation determined that, at that time, Tomayko left the United States with Alexandria and her other daughter and may have fled to Costa Rica. On November 15, 2000, Tomayko was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, on one count of international parental kidnapping.
Ms. Tomayko was not just another fugitive. She was listed as one of the F.B.I.'s 10 most wanted, and her photo and information was easily available on the Web site.
There also is the question of how private schools could hire an employee without checking the background. Information on Ms. Tomayko was available with a single simple Internet search.