Ex-Walla Walla doctor charged in custody case

Dr. Kirsten B. Eberhardt allegedly absconded with her children in violation of a court-ordered parenting plan.

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WALLA WALLA -- A local physician who allegedly disappeared with her children in 2009 during a lengthy divorce and child-custody dispute has been charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court with two felonies.

Dr. Kirsten B. Eberhardt, 45, is accused of two counts of first-degree custodial interference. The charges were filed Friday.

Officials said Eberhardt -- who was an OB/GYN at the Women's Clinic -- left Walla Walla in late November 2009 with her two children, Nora H. Post, 12, and Ian S. Post, 10, in violation of a court-ordered parenting plan.

Eberhardt allegedly fled the area -- and apparently the country -- with the children.

They last were seen on an airline flight to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and are believed to be in Germany, Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle said Monday. Eberhardt grew up in Germany and family members, including her parents, still live there.

A warrant for Eberhardt's arrest was issued Friday out of Superior Court with bail set at $50,000. But Nagle told the Union-Bulletin that Walla Walla police are seeking help from the federal government to obtain a fugitive warrant to facilitate her arrest.

Court records reveal that Eberhardt and her husband, Thomas C. Post, were married in 1993 and separated in October 2005. She filed for divorce Oct. 7, 2005, and a lengthy court battle ensued.

In the meantime, custody of the children was awarded to Eberhardt, who had accused Post of abusing them, according to a police report Nagle provided to the U-B. Post wasn't permitted to visit the children the next four years except on rare, brief occasions.

But police determined there was insufficient evidence to corroborate Eberhardt's accusations against Post.

In June 2009, Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann ordered Eberhardt to cooperate with reuniting the children with their father and not move from Walla Walla. But she allegedly left with the children in November of that year and Post hasn't heard of or seen them since, the police report says.

A dissolution decree was entered last October. Lohrmann ordered that the children, if located, live with Post or his family members. Eberhardt's contact with the children, at least initially, would be restricted.

Union-Bulletin reporter Sheila Hagar contributed to this report.

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