Real Names: Meriah and Sabria Widboom
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Date: Mother's Day 1994
Date of Birth: 5/14/91 (Meriah) 5/10/92 (Sabria)
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Characteristics: Both Meriah and Sabria have blonde hair and blue eyes.
Details: Meriah and Sabria Widboom are the daughters of Brian Widboom and Rebecca Ryken. After their divorce, Brian received custody of the girls, and Rebecca remarried Gerald Brotherston, she now goes by the name Rebecca Brotherston. Brian willingly dropped off his daughters to be with Rebecca on Mother's Day in 1994, but she did not willingly return them. Every time the authorities start getting closer to her, Rebecca takes off again. Given his ex-wife's reputation, Brian is very concerned for the welfare of his daughters. (Case file as presented on Unsolved Mysteries.)
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the October 25, 1996 episode.
From Rebecca Brotherston: (edited for clarity)
"I have all of the information you are seeking in the Widboom case. The things that have been written about my husband and I are merely the opinion of a scorned and angry man. Nothing has been thoroughly investigated and the woman "Dani Dodge" from the Medford Mail Tribune took the words of my ex-husband literally, and published them in the local newspaper in my hometown. Yes, I did make a mistake when I was in my early twenties (re: hotel theft), and I admit that without shame. I have paid for that mistake many times over and I refuse to punish myself any further. Life is too short. My husband did not even come close to rape or anything else illegal. Again, scorned spouse. She found out that he had started seeing another woman after they separated, and the whole story was a lie. His ex-wife even admitted that. We are very good, decent people. Not the evil, dangerous outlaws we have been made out to be. If you had the opportunity to meet our daughters, you would know this to be true. Despite the fact we were in hiding for years, and they did not have any "formal" education until they were 11 and 12, they are very beautiful, well-adjusted young ladies. They both do very well in school, and both are second-degree black belts in Tae Kwon Do. We enrolled them in Martial Arts when they were eight and nine years old because we wanted them to have interaction with other kids and gain the skill. This was when we were still in hiding. Our priority was always the girls, still is. They are 17 and 18 (as of this writing) and they still live with us and we are still a family. Honestly, I could care less what the general population think of me. The opinion of my family and friends are all that concern me. My husband and I moved all over the US in a span of nearly 10 yrs in order to protect my daughters from harm. No one would endure what we have without good cause. And furthermore, I obtained custody of my daughters after the divorce. Brian kept making false accusations in order to drag me into court again and again. Yes, I moved to Wyoming after Mothers Day 1994 because it occurred to me that my life and my children's lives will never be normal and the hatred and lies were just too much. Plus, I feared for my babies. Brian Widboom is not a stable man. He has deep psychological problems and HE is the one to be considered dangerous. My husband, Gerald, and I have full legal custody of Meriah and Sabria, and Brian Widboom has absolutely no parental rights. All of the charges against me were dropped immediately after everything came to a head. I have all of the documentation to back up everything I have written here and (about) the termination of parental rights for Brian. So there is the short version, I am ready to put it on record the entire ordeal. If anything, there is not any information on how to live on the lam. I scoured every library, internet site, that I could find and could not find anything that could help. Yet, we managed to do it for several years. It basically comes down to common sense, and how badly you wish to not be found. Sincerely, Rebecca."
Today, Rebecca and her beautiful daughters live near Tacoma, Washington with Gerald Brotherston. Much of Brian Widboom's accusations were extremely far-fetched and biased against her and have no semblence to the truth.
From Andrew Ryken:
¨Let me give you a brief introduction of myself. My name is Andrew Ryken, I am the proud son of Rebecca Brotherston and my personally adopted father Gerald Brotherston. I have a lot to talk about with you, and it´s hard to find a beginning to it all. First let me clarify that my intention here are not fueled by bitter hatred towards Brian. I refuse to perpetuate the hatred that his family has fueled for God knows how long. So as far as passing down what Brian´s father did to him and what he chose to do to myself and another girl before me, the buck stops with me. I have forgiven him for what he has done to me and my family, but I will never forget. I am glad that someone has finally brought this to attention. I have so much to say...It would take me hours to explain this whole mess through the eyes of a scared little kid that witnessed and endured Brian´s abuse. And as much time as I have put into trying desperately to forget what happened to me, I never could. I read my mothers response to a thread on a sitcom blog, and it made me even more proud of her and Jerry than I have ever been. My mother has made so many sacrifices in her life for all of her children that anyone of us put to the tests she has gone through probably would have crumbled. Starting with me, a single mother at 17...raising a baby boy to be a man when your a young woman has to be hard enough, I am sure she felt a little alleviated when her knight in shinning armor came to the rescue. I was n´t the easiest child to raise, and when Brian came into the picture I suddenly changed. I stopped talking, became very introverted and scared. I remember the first beating I received from Brian...the day before they were married, November 2nd 1990. And I was assured that there were many more to follow. And he was right. The physical abuse just became redundant after a while. You can only beat someone so much before they run out of tears and lose their voice through the pain. That's when the real abuse starts. Mentally Brian was very clever about getting inside my head, but I was also clever getting under his skin. Although 10 years old, I took several beatings playing Brian against my mother. Trying to make them fight, trying to make him lose his cool in front of her so she could see what kind of a good Christian man Brian was. He was so smooth though, a master of manipulation. Like I said I have a lot to say, and I am trying my hardest to not get on any tangents. But my mind is exploding with information that people need to be aware of about this man. I am going to stop for now, let my mind take a break. But I want everyone of you who reads this to know a couple of things. Jerry Brotherston is the most amazing father anyone could ever ask for. He gave up his entire life for my Mother and my two sisters so they did n´t have to go through what I went through. And for that he is my hero. My Mother gave up her entire life for me when she was young, and she is by far the best Mother anyone could ever ask for. Together they overcame this nightmare for way to long. Especially considering the outcome. He gave up all parental rights to Jerry and all the charges against my Mother were dropped. I just hope and pray that his new wife´s son hasn´t seen the wrath of what Brian Widboom is capable. I will keep a close eye on this, because there are many things I would like to share with you all...maybe just to get it off my chest, out of my mind. But most importantly inform the masses about Brian. And Brian if you are reading this, I did accept your apology but that doesn´t make what you did right. Also this is not an attempt to smear your name. We both know when you meet your maker, your excuses and justifications are not going to fly. And thank God I don´t have to live with that. Thats all I have the mental strength for right now. Peace and Love to everyone." --Andy Ryken 03:34, 20 June 2009 (UTC) Andrew Ryken