Custody/Child Support Question <long>

My SO has a daughter from a past relationship. It didn't end well as one day when he went to work, his ex took the child, packed up and left the state. He came home to an empty house. 
Fast forward to the present, he's been working with his family attorney trying to locate her and establish his rights and custody arrangements. But his ex has thwarted every attempt, namely police and his attorney could never get an address on her (just that she is in Kentucky). My SO hasn't seen his daughter in now just over a year because no one could locate this woman. Over the past year his ex has however served him with papers to stay away from her (not that we could find her). Restraining order right it's called? 
Well, today he got a letter (delivered to his work address) from Kentucky requesting child support. He was shocked and upset because he's never gotten a chance to petition himself. Does child support request mean he has no custody rights to his daughter anymore?What options does he have at this point? He has been prevented from seeing his child despite all his efforts. Does he have to pay? How can he let the courts or whomever know his position? 
What we've run into is basically he needs to file further legal proceedings (can't recall the proper name), but it's going to require money we don't have. Or, two he was advised to hire an attorney in Kentucky and file proceedings from within that state. We live in Oregon. Either option presents severe financial strain. Idk what to do or how to help my SO. He gets so depressed and stressed out. He's on the verge of just giving up and signing away his rights. 
Any suggestions ladies??