The Durham Regional Police Service in Ontario located and secured six children who went missing from Calgary earlier this week.
On Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, the Calgary Police Service received a report from a woman that her six children and her common-law partner were no longer at their residence. The woman was away from the home at the time and believed her partner was in the process of moving the entire family to Ontario.
Investigators confirmed that the man was in Ontario with the children and immediately alerted police agencies in that province.
Police also applied for Canada-wide warrants for the arrest of the man the next day because doing so gave police in Ontario the ability to charge him once he was located. The warrants were not an indication of there being an immediate danger to the children.
The children had been left in the man’s care while the mother was away, however, he did not have the mother’s consent to take them out of the area. All evidence showed that the children were in no immediate danger and that the man was able and planning to care for them. He had also been in contact with authorities in Alberta while driving through Ontario, further reducing concerns over the welfare of the children.
The man and six children were located in good condition in Durham, Ontario. The children will be transported back to Alberta as soon as possible, with the assistance Missing Children Society of Canada, in partnership with WestJet. The man, now charged with six counts of child abduction, will be transported back to Alberta in the next week.
To protect the identity of the victims and the privacy of the family, the name of the accused will not be released. The exact relationship between the children and the man is still being investigated, however, he was not their legal guardian.
An AMBER Alert was not issued in this case because all the evidence indicated that the children were not in immediate danger. There are four criteria that must be met before an AMBER Alert can be issued and immediate danger is one.
Police also must weigh the benefits of asking for the public’s help locating a suspect with the risk that doing so could escalate a situation, increasing the danger to the children or possibility of the suspect going into hiding. In this case, police believed that pursuing the suspect through police investigation and searches provided the best chance of locating him and the children.
The Calgary Police Service would like to thank the Durham Regional Police Service for recognizing the man’s vehicle and all other Ontario police agencies that assisted with this case.