EAST FALMOUTH — An East Falmouth man is hoping the power of social media can be used to help find his 3-year-old son, Kellan, who authorities say has been kidnapped by his mother.
Jeff Leonard has launched a Facebook page to locate Kellan, who is believed to be with his mother, Shannon Reckner, and Reckner’s friend, Donna Prowell. Leonard and Reckner have shared custody of Kellan.
Reckner most recently lived in upstate New York; she and Leonard traded off weeks with Kellan and would make an exchange on Saturdays at the Charlton service plaza along the Massachusetts Turnpike.
One Saturday in November, however, he got a text from Reckner saying she wasn't going to show up. Leonard has not seen his son since.
Reckner and Prowell are believed to have taken Kellan and fled the area. A warrant has been issued for Reckner’s arrest; Leonard said they have been spotted in Florida and Tennessee, but Reckner deactivated her cellphone and has so far managed to evade arrest.
Leonard and Reckner had an angry breakup, and their relationship since Kellan’s birth has been acrimonious at best. Leonard said he is afraid of what measures Reckner and Prowell may take to avoid the law and what they could be telling Kellan about his now-absent father.
“This is about Kellan,” he said. “He needs to be safe. He’s not safe now, and I know it.”
A stormy relationship
Leonard and Reckner dated for several years in the early 1990s before Reckner enlisted in the Navy. They reconnected in the summer of 2010, and she moved to the Cape about a year later.
They were living together when Kellan was born Jan. 9, 2012, at Falmouth Hospital, but their domestic bliss was troubled even then.
Leonard and Reckner’s relationship ended in May 2013, when Reckner filed for a restraining order and blocked Leonard from re-entering his home. At the time, Reckner alleged that Leonard was a chronic alcoholic and abusive, allegations that were never proved and were later called into question by Judge Arthur Ryley, the Barnstable County Probate and Family Court judge who has handled the custody case.
Both Leonard and Reckner sought full custody of Kellan, but Ryley eventually decided on the 50-50 split in January 2014, court records show. Ryley ruled that Kellan was a Massachusetts resident but allowed Reckner to move to upstate New York, which began the couple’s weekly midway meetings along the turnpike.
Ryley’s order did not make the custody arrangement any less tense and volatile.