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Who's the Kidnapper?

June 12, 2006 permalink

A mother has been arrested and charged with a crime for caring for her own children. Police pretend to be astonished that the children were unharmed. Here are two news articles on the case.



Children found safely

Deborah Farrell and her two children (Cody, 6, and Nicole, 2) were located at the Valens Conservation area by Hamilton Police on June 11, 2006. The two children were safe and unharmed and have been turned over to Family and Children Services.

Deborah Farrell, 45, of Guelph and Suzanne Craig, 45, of Allenford have been charged with Assault Level I in relation to an assault on a Family and Children Services caregiver on Saturday June 10th 2006 in the Zellers parking lot at 175 Stone Road West in Guelph.

Farrell will be in court on June 12, 2006 charged with Assault Level 1 and Breach Probation, while Craig will be in court in July charged with Assault Level 1.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Constable Manfred Hoyer of the Guelph Police Service at 519-824-1212 ext.345 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Source: The Fountain Pen

Children located 'safe and sound'

Police allege mother, accomplice seized her kids from foster parent

A Guelph mother who eluded police over the weekend after allegedly taking her two young children from a foster mother was arrested late last night in Hamilton.

Her two children, aged two and six, were taken into custody and were to be transported back to Guelph after midnight, Guelph Police said.

On Friday, the boy and girl had been taken away from their mother by children's aid workers. They will be returned to the custody of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Guelph Police say on Saturday, their 45-year-old mother somehow found and confronted a foster mother in the middle of a busy Zellers parking lot and with the help of an accomplice reclaimed her two children.

They made off in a green older North American model station wagon that police across Ontario spent the next 30-plus hours trying to locate.

Police said throughout the weekend they were concerned for the safety and well-being of the children, who were found unharmed with their mother by Hamilton police last night.

Earlier in the day, police had requested the public's help in finding her.

"They're safe and sound," Guelph Police Sergeant Derek McNeilly reported last night, after a media alert was issued.

Police said charges are pending against the woman, who isn't being named to protect the identity of her children.

A woman described as an accomplice, who turned herself over to police earlier yesterday, will also be charged, police said.

The children's grandmother, who also lives in Guelph, said she isn't surprised her daughter would have run off with the two children.

Her daughter lost "a good guy" in her life when he died in a car accident, she said. He was the father of the young girl.

Now her children are all the woman has, the grandmother said.

"Her kids are her life. If they're trying to take her kids away, I could see her doing something drastic," she said.

"She'll try anything to keep them, I'm sure. She'll live and die for her kids."

The incident made for a few tense days for the grandmother.

She said she reached her daughter by cellphone yesterday afternoon and spoke with her grandson. Her daughter doesn't own a car and she doesn't know where she got the vehicle.

"She told me they were camping in Collingwood. I said 'You know the police are looking for you?'" she said. "I didn't get an answer."

Before that, the last time she spoke with her daughter was June 10 at a birthday party for her grandson.

Constable Manfred Hoyer, the officer leading the investigation, said it was not likely a coincidence the woman ran into the foster mother with her two children on the lot of the Zellers store on Stone Road.

The grandmother said she had no idea why children's aid workers would take the children away from her daughter.

"If it wasn't for bad luck, she would have none at all," she said of her daughter.

Source: Guelph Mercury

Addendum: What is the difference between a mother and an axe murderer? None, according to this editorial in the Guelph (Ontario) Mercury.



Questioning alert criteria

When two Guelph children were snatched from a foster care provider last weekend, the incident set off a 30-hour search by police across Ontario until the children were found safe and sound by Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police at the Valens Conservation Area Sunday night. Even though the children, a six-year-old boy and two-year-old girl, were found safe and healthy, questions remain about the way the case was handled, including why an Amber Alert was not issued by police, especially when the children were missing for well over a day.

When family members spoke out against an Amber Alert issued in April after a sick man took his two children -- of whom he had custody -- to northern Ontario following a fight with his estranged wife, we supported the police decision to issue an Amber Alert to encourage the public to phone police with any information. Authorities, we argued, should always err on the side of caution when it comes to child safety. It is hard to understand then why police would not issue such an alert in this most recent case. A woman -- whose children had been taken from her by children's aid -- allegedly confronted a foster mother in a crowded parking lot and, with an accomplice, made off with her children. It is hard to see what differentiates these cases and caused police to issue an Amber Alert in one and not the other.

There are very specific criteria for when an alert is to be issued in Ontario, including the age of the child, whether officers believe the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death and whether there is enough descriptive information to believe the alert will help to find the child.

Police may have well weighed these criteria and felt an alert was not warranted last weekend, but the decision raises the question of whether the same protocol is being followed in every case.

Source: Guelph Mercury