No official action can be taken to reunite an autistic Christchurch woman who secretly fled to India with her family, local police say.
Jessica Doody, 24, changed her name, got a new passport and travelled to the southeastern Punjab city of Patiala last month to live with her boyfriend, Gurdeep Singh, aka Garry Anttal.
Her family fear for her safety, saying she has the mental capacity of a young teenager and is naïve and vulnerable to manipulation.
Five agencies, including Interpol, had been involved in the hunt for Doody.
Her father Craig Doody, a broker from Christchurch, flew to India to search for her.
On Thursday, local police officers visited his hotel to say his daughter had been found.
He was allowed a short meeting with her at a Patiala police station where Jessica told her father she wanted nothing to do with him and that she was happy in India. She said she was being well cared for and had been living at Singh's parents.
After the brief encounter, Craig Doody was told by police that he must leave the city. The next day, he was forced to make a seven-hour bus journey back to New Delhi.
Now, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Ranjit Singh of the Non Resident Indian (NRI) Affairs Division of Punjab Police has said there is little they can do to help.
Singh told the Times of India that Doody had travelled on legal documents, was not a minor, and that no action could be taken against her or her boyfriend.
He told the news outlet that Doody had spoken with New Zealand Embassy officials in New Delhi who were "completely satisfied with her statement".
Gurdeep Singh's father Bhagwant Singh told the Times of India that Doody had arrived at their Patiala home about 15 days ago. He confirmed that the pair had not been married.
The news is yet another blow for the Doody family who are desperate to get Jessica back to New Zealand.
They fear she has been "brainwashed" and are worried for her safety.
Doody flew to northern India via Guangzhou on March 16, travelling as Kathleen Gray-Anttal, to be reunited with her boyfriend, Gurdeep Singh, aka Garry Anttal. She had fallen $50,000 into debt when she was with her boyfriend in New Zealand.
Craig Doody yesterday described his emotional reunion with his daughter at a police station, flanked by the police commissioner, about 10 other officers, and Singh. He was only allowed to see her after promising he wouldn't get violent with her. His cellphone was confiscated when he tried to photograph her.
"I was allowed to ask her five questions and she just said she was staying in India and that she totally hated the family," Craig Doody told the Herald from his Patiala hotel room yesterday.
"I was blown away. I said, 'Jess, why are you saying this? I've flown halfway around the world for you'.
"It was pretty horrendous. She's been brainwashed and I think she has been groomed. She's madly in love with this guy and can't see what's happening to her."
Craig Doody is now assessing his next steps.
He says the New Zealand Government has failed his daughter.
"We need to get her out and New Zealand needs to fix this. To be a New Zealander, I'm actually quite embarrassed about how they have handled this and someone needs to be held accountable."
Singh left New Zealand on December 17 last year, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) confirmed.
Doody's Christchurch family said the naive, innocent woman, who is on the autism spectrum and suffers from dyspraxia, would be terrified without her support network.
They were so concerned she would leave for India that they had earlier succeeded in getting a court-imposed travel ban on her original passport.
After the family filed a missing persons report last month, New Zealand police told them last Wednesday that Doody had left the country and was now in India.
Doody's phone has since been switched off and her Facebook account disabled.
Doody met Singh in Christchurch two years ago, her family says. They soon entered into a relationship and after a fortnight had moved in together.
Singh variously worked in a fast-food pizza outlet, as a courier and delivery driver.
"At the start of the relationship, Garry told her he was a billionaire and that Maroon 5 would play at their wedding," says elder sister Sarah Doody, 26.
"Jessica believed in this amazing fantasy life they would have and became very isolated from us and was soon racking up debt."
Doody, who worked as a hotel cleaner, bought two cars and covered the couple's rent, her family say.
When Singh asked Doody to travel to India with him for a holiday, her family rejected the idea. They wanted a family member to accompany Doody, who takes antidepressants, seizure medication and mood stabilisers, and suffers from irritable bowel syndrome.
Eventually, they got a court-imposed travel ban to block Doody from leaving the country.
They also started the legal process to gain power of attorney and property rights over Doody, worried that she was getting into financial strife.
When Singh left New Zealand last December, Doody was distraught.
She cut ties with her family before her father found her at an ex-boyfriend's house where she had suitcases packed and "ready to go".
"We couldn't do anything as she is an adult," Sarah said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is providing consular assistance to Doody's family.
But a spokeswoman said that "due to privacy considerations, we are unable to provide further information".
Likewise, both the Department of Internal Affairs and Customs refused to comment, also citing privacy reasons.