Gladys left the girls and I about 1 and 1/2 years ago and moved in with a man she had been seeing. After about 3 months of separation she came to see the girls, who are now 3 years and 6 years old. She calls periodically and gets the girls here and there, but last week she came to get them for the weekend, packed up and took the girls.
I'm not sure where they are. My mother used someone's cell phone and she did answer that, but when my mom called her by name, she stated "no speakie English." My mom knew it was her, because when she first answered, Gladys was saying "Manna-Manna don't do that." Well, my daughter's name is Samantha and only my mom and Gladys call her that. My mom told her she knew it was her and she repeated "no speakie English," so my mother hung up. We never filed for divorce custody or separation.
What can I do to get my girls back?
Criminal Defense Attorney
You need to hire an attorney immediately. The fact that she left the children, voluntarily, with you and had infrequent visitations will help your situation. The fact that she ran away with the children will usually upset most Courts (if it was for no significant reason). You need to file for Divorce and also get a Temporary Restraining Order with a hearing. Of course, you do need to have some way of locating her to serve her, but there may be other ways to give her notice of the divorce.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You need to file a divorce immediately and get her served, and go in ex parte for temporary custody orders, alleging irreparable harm and flight risk.
When you are still married, both of you have rights to your children. Only when there is a divorce filed, can you gain orders.
You must act quick; status quo is very much favored in custody cases. If you wait, and the children are with her for a long time, this would be the status quo and you would lose rights.
I would hire a private investigator immediately to locate her and the children and get her served immediately.