Crime

Police searched birth mom's apartment in twins case

Durham police seized a receipt for window tinting, notes about a hotel and photographs from the apartment of a birth mother accused of kidnapping her twins from their adoptive parents.

Allison Quets, 49, of Orlando, Fla., is scheduled to appear today in an Ottawa courtroom to begin the extradition process. She faces federal charges in Raleigh of international parental kidnapping.

Authorities say Quets crossed into Canada on Dec. 23 with the 17-month-old twins, Tyler Lee and Holly Ann Needham. The children live with their adoptive parents, Kevin and Denise Needham of Apex. Quets was involved in litigation with the Needhams over custody of the twins. She was arrested Friday in Ottawa, and the twins were returned to the Needhams.

In a search warrant returned Wednesday, Durham police investigator Tammy Tuck sought to search Quets' apartment at 1718 Trail View Lane, near The Streets at Southpoint mall. Quets, a former Lockheed Martin employee, maintained an apartment in Durham for her monthly visits with the twins. Tuck wrote in the search warrant that she wanted to search for records, photographs, telephone bills, appointment books, bank records and other items.

Tuck reported that she seized a receipt for window tinting, although it does not specify whether it was for a vehicle or a home; three photographs; two index cards; a receipt from Target; and a "note sheet" for Candlewood Suites.

Quets has been unable to comment because she is under arrest in Canada. Her Canadian lawyer has not returned messages. The Needhams and their attorneys have said little, citing the sealed nature of adoption cases in Florida.

Quets' sister, Gail Quets of Louisville, Ky., has said her sister gave birth to the twins after in-vitro fertilization and became ill during the pregnancy. In a fatigued and disoriented state, Allison Quets gave up the children for adoption a few weeks later, Gail Quets said. She has said that her sister later changed her mind and has been fighting to regain custody of the twins ever since.

To regain custody under Florida law, Allison Quets would have had to prove that the Needhams obtained her consent to the adoption by fraud or duress.

One of the Needhams' attorneys, Patrick Kilbane of Jacksonville, Fla., takes issue with Gail Quets' account of the adoption. "We take great exception to what Gail Quets is saying. The court found in favor of the Needhams," he said.

That court's ruling is being appealed.

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