JERSEY SHORE - During a time when many in the world are celebrating and planning family get-togethers, one Jersey Shore mother just wants her children to come home.
On Nov. 24, Jessica Socling, sent her three sons, Elyas, 4, Ibrahim, 6, and Muhammad, 8, off with their father for their usual eight-hour Sunday visitation, expecting their return around 7 that evening.
She hasn't seen them since.
Above, Jessica Socling sits at her kitchen table and looks at a photo album containing pictures of her three children Ibrahim, Elyas, and Muhammad, who were abducted by their father four weeks ago and are now in Saudi Arabia. At left, Socling sits in her children’s bedroom, reliving their night time routine of reading books before bed.
AMBER MORRIS/THE EXPRESS
Her estranged husband, Majed Sayed, never brought the three little boys back home.
Sayed, a Saudi Arabian citizen, had a green card since 2005, and was here in America obtaining an education. He had formerly attended and graduated from both the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport and also the Penn State Main Campus. He was attending Shippensburg University working toward a master's degree in organizational leadership.
Jessica recalls that day with tears in her eyes.
"Majed came at his normal time to pick up the boys from my mom's house at around 11 am. Elyas had been really sick the day before, so I sent an extra pair of clothes along in case he threw up again. The boys were upset that they forgot the hats that I had made for them. It was really cold that day and they wanted to wear them," she said. "I kissed them goodbye. Looking back, I'm so grateful that they always insisted on elaborate goodbyes. I told them I'd see them that night.
"I went home and baked all day for the bake sale at Muhummad's school. He had picked out everything he wanted me to make. After I finished up, I straightened up the house, because Sundays were really the only time I had to clean. Around 6:45 I got out their pajamas," she said, barely able to get the words out as she recalled brighter days.
For the full story, check out today's print edition of The Express.