Liverpool girl missing for five years found safe in Thailand, father in custody

Deonna Shipman

A Liverpool girl missing since 2007 has been found in Thailand.

Deonna Shipman, now 8-years-old, disappeared from the Town of Salina in July 2007. The little girl was just 3-years-old when she disappeared.

"I wake up with the thought of her and I go to bed with the thought of her," Deonna Shipman's Mom Luba told us 5 years ago. "I pray every night for her safe return." Today, her prayers were answered.

Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies say her non-custodial father, 51-year-old Jeffery Shipman abducted her and fled the country. Deputies say Jeffery and Deonna were found in Bangkok, Thailand on February 24.

Jeffery Shipman was on the FBI's Most Wanted List. He was arrested in Bangkok by the FBI on a Federal Warrant for International Parental Kidnapping Charges and arraigned in Los Angeles. He is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals and will eventually be returned to Onondaga County to appear in court. Before allegedly fleeing the country, Shipman worked for the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) in the Syracuse Regional Office.

"We just want deonna to know that her community here has loved her all this time," said Luba's friend Debbie Guncial. "We are so happy," she said.

"I've never given up hope," said Luba's friend Jessica Barr. "Sometimes I just wished I could do more."

Deonna was returned to Onondaga County and is in good health. Her mother is returning from Russia to see her daughter. There is no word right now when the two will be reunited.