The Philadelphia mother who allegedly abducted her two daughters and fled to Florida has been charged with abuse and neglect in that state, delaying her return to the city, where she has been charged with kidnapping.
Tammy Kong-Kham, 35, is accused of abducting her 8- and 10-year-old daughters Oct. 16 as they were walking to school in Hunting Park and then fleeing to South Florida. There, they scavenged for food and lived for days at a time in an ant-infested sand pit.
Kong-Kham remains in the Broward County Jail with no bail set, Yvette Martinez, spokeswoman for the Fort Lauderdale police, said yesterday.
With new charges filed in Fort Lauderdale, Kong-Kham will have to remain in Florida to settle them before she can be extradited to Philadelphia.
The girls are back in Philadelphia, where they were reunited this week and placed again with a foster family, said Alicia Taylor, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services.
This month, the older daughter was found panhandling at a glitzy shopping mall. After days of investigation, the girl told authorities that her mother had taken her and her sister from Philadelphia and that they had been living in a hole dug under playground equipment near the beach.
The girl told police that her mother forced her to fend for herself, and that the mother and younger daughter moved to a new location. Authorities along the East Coast conducted an intense search to find the two, who were located this week at a shopping center in Tamarac.
The girls had been living with their mother in Philadelphia after a divorce and were placed in foster care because they were not enrolled in school.
Police said Kong-Kham disguised her dark hair with a blond wig and approached her daughters as they were on their way to the first day of school at Juniata Park Academy. The girls, they said, went willingly with their mother.