Wife abducts daughter to Mexico while husband is at work
John flew home from a stint in outback WA expecting to see his then-two-year-old daughter Naomi waiting at the door.
But instead, the FIFO mining engineer was greeted by stern-faced police officers who marched him through the house to collect his possessions.
Unable to process what was happening, John followed the police inside.
It was only later he would learn the horrifying story that his estranged wife Monica had spun to the authorities back in 2008.
"What were the words? I molested my daughter, I bashed my wife and watched child porn. All bullshit," John told The Advertiser.
"I was ripped apart, what just happened?
"I've done none of this shit, but she got in first and had a restraining order slapped on me."
As John tried to fight the horrifying allegations, he discovered Monica had drained their savings accounts.
She had used the money to purchase tickets to her native home of Mexico for her and Naomi.
Despite John assuring authorities that Monica wouldn't have abducted their daughter - it appeared she had done exactly that.
In fact, she had spent months putting her plan into motion, secretly requesting a passport for Naomi.
"I thought I'll pay for her house in Perth and keep the income going and we will just separate," he said.
"I was willing to keep supporting her and Naomi no matter where they lived.
"But I think it was premeditated and she was trying to set this up for months before."
It's now been 12 years - and John has no idea if Naomi even knows he is her father.
"There's someone who you've made through your own genes and suddenly she's not in existence anymore - that hurts and there's no closure - so yeah, it is probably worse in some ways than if you knew your child was dead," he explained.
"I can still smell her and think of her and what we had in those first few years.
"I'm telling you though, I still have times where I cry a lot, and all I can think is 'what the hell has happened? How can this happen to me?
"I don't know if she's dead. Is she alive? I just don't know."
Initially, John and his family hoped to bring Naomi home using the Mexican court system.
John's mum, and Naomi's grandmother, Christine led the effort after it was deemed too dangerous for John to travel to Mexico.
"We consider that if John had gone to Mexico then he would've been arrested by the Mexican authorities," Christine said.
"They would just take Monica's side.
"We didn't want him to stuff his life up by doing that.
"So I got this lawyer to go to the court case which ended with the court saying Monica gets to keep Naomi because John hadn't gone to Mexico."
In the years since the court case, the desperate family has tried everything to get in contact with Naomi.
Christine managed to briefly get in contact with one of Monica's relatives who confirmed that the then-little girl was safe - but soon they stopped responding.
But that was years ago - with John even unable to find his daughter's social media profiles online.
"I've had no contact. Nothing. Zilch. The only contact was when Monica managed to look at my LinkedIn profile a couple of years ago," he said.
"Either she's dead, or very diligent about who sees Naomi, or that she has a very close circle of friends who don't allow any photos of Naomi to go up online," John said.
"It feels like, for me, how a grieving parent would feel if their child had died."
This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.