Local News

Abduction Case Complicated, Suspect's Sister Says

Posted December 27, 2006
Updated December 29, 2006

— The sister of a woman who authorities believe kidnapped 17-month-old twins said Wednesday the case is a complicated and emotional one that perhaps was building over time.

Durham police and the FBI are investigating the disappearance of Tyler and Holly Needham, who were taken from their adoptive parents on Dec. 22 for a scheduled monthly visitation by their birth mother, Allison Quets.

Police said Tuesday, however, that Quets, 49, never returned Sunday evening and that she and the children might be in Kentucky or Florida.

"God forbid that a loving mother should face criminal charges for wanting to be with her children," said Quets' sister, Gail Quets.

After her sister got pregnant through in vitro fertilization, Gail Quets said, the pregnancy was difficult and her sister suffered from extreme nausea and had to be fed through a tube.

"She weighed less after nine months than she did before she was pregnant," Gail Quets said, adding that her sister was so weak that she worried she would not be able to care for the twins.

"She was absolutely pressured into giving them up for adoption," Gail Quets said.

Allison Quets found Kevin and Denise Needham through a friend, but regretted her decision to give up her children 12 hours after she signed adoption papers, her sister said.

"She's been fighting since Day 1," Gail Quets said. "She has spent more than $400,000—all of her life savings—on the legal process."

The custody battle is playing out in Jacksonville, Fla., where Allison Quets lives. Her sister said she has been renting an apartment in Durham so that she can have monthly visits with the children, who now live in Apex.

A neighbor said she saw a stroller outside Quets' apartment on Christmas Eve, but has not seen her since.

Investigators think Quets might be traveling in a white Plymouth van with North Carolina license LRJ-6644 or Florida license E377HZ.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the three is asked to call 911 or the Durham Police Department at 919-560-4427.

Durham police would not comment on the case Wednesday and directed all questions to the FBI, which is now investigating.

WRAL's calls to the FBI were not immediately returned Wednesday, so it was unclear exactly why an Amber Alert has not been issued in the case. Typically, one is only issued if authorities believe an abducted child is in danger.

The children's adoptive family said Wednesday that investigators advised them not to comment.

Gail Quets said she does not know where her sister is, but that she was not worried about the children.

"I'm not that worried, because I know my sister is a very smart and capable person," she said. "And I know she loves her children very much and would never endanger them."

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  • kahshop Jan 4, 2007

    Whiningpuker and SpiritWarriorwoman; thank you for your well thought out, informative yet compassionate posts.I hope you both continue to comment on future stories. Folks need to hear some calm voices of reason.

  • stones919 Jan 4, 2007

    Forty-nine (too old to have children obviously because she had trouble with the entire pregnancy) not seventeen, they aren't even her children. She is OLD enough to know better, hormones or not, please. Even if they were her own, she gave them up and a new mother then went through the gurations of motherhood. Expectation of their receipt, raised them for a year, day care, bed times all because of this irresponsible woman who obviously is ill prepared for motherhood - I want them, I don't want them, I want them, I don't want them so get caught in Canada because I(she) am an Quets idiot. At Forty-nine, a NORMAL woman has grandchildren. Doing it for the good of her children, robertfoerester, ha! These childrens are put on a ping pong table between these people. How in the HECK does she expect these kids to understand what happened to them. First they were sleeping in their own beds and next they are traveling through the night (Woose)with grandma. This should be capitol IMO!

  • spiritwarriorwoman Jan 4, 2007

    Some of the posts here simply don't understand what raging hormones can do to a woman, both before birth and after birth, and for how long. Research and understand before condemning another for something you don't understand yourself.
    While this is complicated, the facts remain that this woman is their mother and, if she is found to be mentally stable, the children should be returned to her because she has been trying since day one, well within the limits allowed by adoptive law, to have them returned to her.
    God bless.
    Rev. RB

  • usmc1178 Jan 2, 2007

    Allison's children should be given back to her, no ifs or buts about it. The following story should show you how shady that adoption process was: WHO KIDNAPPED WHOM FIRST? http://missingchild.wordpress.com/
    Florida is notorious for being anti-birth parent and having unjust, boardering illegal private adoption laws since the adoption process is a very profitable one for lawyers and the state's laws are at best open to interpretation. Futhermore hyperemesis is a severely debilatating condition that is medically known to cause depression, anxiety and other afflictions that probably contributed to her poor state of mind when she was most likely coerced to signed the adoption papers. The mere fact that she was put in contact with the Needhams by their cousin and among other things there are witnesses admitting that the adoption papers were backdated is just the beginning of a very sordid tale.

  • markoncourse Dec 29, 2006

    We have familiarity with this situation. Here are a few facts as we know them:
    - The twins are the result of donor egg and donor sperm. So, Allison is a “birth mother” and not a “biological mother”.
    - Prior to placing the twins, Allison sought multiple adoption attorneys and at least two adoption agencies.
    - Allison had the twins for 5 months before she placed the twins. She had plenty of time to consider her options.
    - Allison is an educated and intelligent woman who made an informed decision when she place the children with the adoptive parents.

  • whiningpuker Dec 29, 2006

    None of us know the entire story, including you, Bryan. But I do know a little something about hyperemesis gravidarum, and it can literally liquify a woman's brain (in the case of Wernicke's encephalopathy resulting from thiamine depletion). We do not know what kind of medical treatment Allison, already a high risk patient because of her advanced maternal age, got. She was obviously quite severe if she was on total parenteral nutrition (hyperalimentation). The starvation and dehydration cycle can affect a person's cognitive abilities (see: Tom Hanks talking to his volleyball in Castaway). Perhaps she thought that her health would be affected for the rest of her life and worried that she could not navigate twin care. It is regrettable that the combined ignorance and projection of some readers prompts them to make wild assumptions and character judgements. The only thing anyone can say with any certainty is that apparently, the law has been broken.

  • robertfoerster Dec 29, 2006

    This is a tough one. One, I think she was silly to not give the kids to her SISTER instead of strangers. Second, those people should have given them back if she retreated on her decision only a few days/hours after signing them off.

    Sounds like the new parents are more concerned with themselves then anyone else. How could anyone with a heart, turn down the mother who was doing it for the kids own good, and obviously made a mistake.

    This sounds allot like "they are our possessions now" and stinks of MINE MINE MINE.

    Human really need to break the chain of ownership, you can't and do not own people.

    So to top off, mother was a bit sloppy, and this new couple sound like a dream team as well. Maybe they all deserve eachother.


  • ihavefaith02 Dec 29, 2006

    The story is very complicated but it really doesn't matter what we think. Please just pray for the safe return of these sweet innocent children.

  • anitatucker01 Dec 28, 2006

    I agree that the biological mother is a psycho. She should have been content with the visitation that she received. Additionally, I would never trust a woman who looks like the Runaway Bride....

  • Me-N-Nc Dec 28, 2006


    I live in Apex, and if there is anything I can do to help the family let me know. Even if it is only a dinner or a thinking of you card. Those 2 little gifts from god are in my prayers. I'm sure they feel lost and scared with out their mommy and daddy!