Fears are growing for the safety of an Irish mother who has disappeared in the U.S. with her 11-month-old son.
Josephine Cuskelly, 42, from County Offaly, has not been seen since July 25 when she left her partner of three years taking their 11-month-old son with her.
Raaz Omar, 31, says she left a note saying that she could no longer continue their relationship and was taking their son with her. She said her legal counsel would contact him later.
Omar has not heard from Cuskelly or her legal counsel since.
Omar who has contacted Interpol and the Irish Government, says he fears for his son's safety.
He said that Cuskelly, who moved to the U.S. from Tullamore, County Offaly six years ago, suffers from depression.
Omar, who also has a four-year-old daughter, Alizae, from a former marriage described what happened on that fateful day.
"I would never leave the children alone with Jo and the day she abducted him was no exception. I had Zarakseez and Alizae in the car ready to bring to my parents house – my parents always look after the kids, they are wonderful and heartbroken about all of this – and Jo came out of the house and said she wanted to look after her son and pulled him out of his car seat and back into the house,” he said.
Omar said he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of leaving the child with Cuskelly but he thought she should have the chance to spend time with him.
“I arrived home that night to a note to say she was gone and had taken Zarakseez,” he said heartbroken.
He said the note she left was quite clear.
“I've tried everything to make this work between us and it's not. There is no other way since you want to send me back to Ireland childless. Zarakseez and I will be at a location of which no one knows. About next mid-week you'll hear more.”
Omar, a wedding photographer, met Cuskelly at a local pharmacy in the town of Waterbury in Connecticut while she was trying on sunglasses. She asked him how they looked on her. The pair hit it off and began dating. Within a few months they had moved in together.
Omar was happy to have a new mother figure for his daughter. Alizae, who lives with her dad full-time, really took to Cuskelly.
Omar says he was thrilled when Cuskelly told him she was pregnant.
“I was excited. I was hoping to make the best of it and I was looking forward to having another child. I cared a lot for her,” he said.
On November 5 2008, Zarakseez, their son, was born at Waterbury Hospital.
“He was so handsome. He is such a treasure,” said Omar while fighting back tears.
“I just want him back and to know that he is okay,” he said.
Omar has contacted the Watertown police, the Irish Consulate in New York, who got in touch with Interpol, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Omar says he is confident that Cuskelly is not in Ireland.
"Interpol found out that she never used her passport. If she tried now she would be stopped at the airport because there is alerts all over the place,” he said.
Calls to her family in Ireland and other acquaintances have run cold. No one has seen her.
Omar worries he will never see his son again.
“It breaks my heart. It really does. I can’t sleep at night. I worry about my son’s safety I want to know if he is alive and well. I want my son back. It’s not fair. I love him very much,” he said.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Josephine Cuskelly and Zarakseez should contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children on 1-888- 843 -5678 or the Watertown Police Department on 1-860 945-5200.
Raise a glass to Robert Emmet, the Irish rebel leader executed on this day in 1803