MORGANTOWN, W,Va. – A Morgantown man who has legal custody of his children is stuck in Columbia, trying to get them from his former wife and is seeking help.

Part of the court ordered divorce between King and his former wife requires the two children, ages 14 and 9, to spend summers with their mother in Columbia. King dropped the children off in July with their mother, and in August she refused to return them.

“Since then, I’ve been trying to get the kids back,” King said. “She lives in a gated community here; it’s not like gated communities in Morgantown; they have walls with razor wire on top and armed guards—those are common down here.”

King said it’s been about six months since he’s seen the children and believes physically they’re not in imminent danger. During those six months, King has initially worked with the police and Columbian agencies, which have refused to enforce the order of the court.

“I have full rights to be with them; they’re registered in school in Morgantown,” King said. “All we have to do right now is get an order, but I’ve been trying for six months to get someone, a judge or someone in social services, to say, Go get those kids out of there.”

King said he is running out of time and could lose his employment here if he doesn’t get some kind of help.

King said he’s contacted elected officials with very limited success. According to King, the staff at Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s office has been helpful and kind, but so far nothing has moved the Columbian government to action.

“I’ve called Senator Manchin’s office and someone from Governor Justice’s office as well, but I haven’t heard anything,” King said. “I don’t know if they’re involved in the background or not, but I haven’t received any direct communications.”

King said staff at the United States Embassy have flatly declined to intervene in a Columbian legal matter, but he has continued to communicate with them. King hopes an elected U.S. Department of State or Columbian official will step up and end the stalemate soon.

“I’d like to think folks at the embassy are trying to make some calls and convince people to do what they’re supposed to do,” King said. “I feel like if this happened back home, it would take hours, maybe days, to get resolution.”