Morehead mother to plead for daughter in Mali court

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - It's been nearly a year-and-a-half that Noelle Hunter's daughter, Maayimuna N'Diaye, 5, has been gone, but she is far from forgotten!

"Yes, we are getting it (the room) ready for Mommy's baby!" Hunter beams while straightening her youngest daughter's room.

So far, nothing has stopped this Morehead mother from trying to get her daughter home. She's held vigils and petitioned congressmen, ambassadors, even the White House, and has shared her story with anyone else who will listen.

"The very last time I went to Washington, I went at the request of the Ambassador from Mali, who is in Washington, and he invited me to Washington to meet the First Lady of the Republic of Mali and I knew when I went that things had shifted forever."

She's even gotten a big helping hand from Senator Mitch McConnell's office. Hunter said they have made calls on her behalf, and even offered to call the U.S. Embassy in Mali to instruct them to help Hunter on her trip to Africa.

Hunter says her daughter was abducted by the girl's father just two days after Christmas in 2011. Ever since, Hunter has never lost hope that one day she'd see her daughter again and now hope is leading to reality.

"It is 37 days away! It is 37 days away from me walking into that court and bringing Muna home!" Hunter grinned.

In June, Hunter will take court orders from Morehead to Mali where she has a date in the courts to demand Muna's return.

"It is a reality that I go and might not be able to immediately get her," said the mother, "I do face that reality that, that might happen and I balance that with my superior faith."

Either way this coming trip gives Hunter a chance to see her daughter for the first time in a long time!

"I don't even know what that moment is going to be like except that it's going to be glorious. Oh, it's going to be glorious!" she said with tears rolling down her cheek.

Still, nothing is stopping this mom from getting her girl back and bringing her home to her dolls, and her bed, and her family.

Even greater, Hunter said she has the chance to impact other lives in Mali. After learning of her trip, she and others have raised funds and even medical and hygiene supplies to take to clinics in the country.

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