In custody fight, religious groups take quiet role

By FILADELFO ALEMAN and JOHN CURRAN | June 27, 2011 | 5:44 AM EDT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Religious supporters are rallying to the aid of a Mennonite pastor accused of helping a fugitive and her 9-year-daughter flee the United States to avoid a child custody order.

More than $30,000 has been raised for the legal defense fund of Timothy David "Timo" Miller, and donors have provided he and his family with a minivan and an apartment.

Miller is charged with abetting an international kidnapping in the case of fugitive mom Lisa Miller — who's not related to him — and her 9-year-old daughter, Isabella Miller Jenkins.

Lisa Miller broke up with former partner Janet Jenkins, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian. She lost custody of the couple's daughter in 2009, then fled to Nicaragua with Isabella. Their current whereabouts are unknown.