Winnipeg police have laid charges against a mother after her role in the alleged abduction of her two-year-old child, leading to an Amber Alert on Tuesday evening.
The two-year-old was located safe after the mother turned herself into RCMP not long after the alert was issued. She was charged Wednesday with abduction where no custody order and released on conditions of an undertaking.
Police were notified shortly before 5:30 p.m., that a two-year-old boy was believed to have been abducted by his mother. Concerns were raised after the mother left a pre-arranged, supervised visit at a specified location with the child without legal authorization.
An Amber Alert was issued with pings going out on cell phones and TV using the emergency measures organization notification system. The pair were believed to be headed to Ebb and Flow First Nation, about 275 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg near Dauphin in a green Chevrolet Crew Cab Silverado.
At around 9:10 p.m., WPS was notified that the Amber Alert was successful. The mother turned herself into RCMP in Amaranth, Man., — about 137 kms northwest of Winnipeg — and the child was located safe. According to Winnipeg Police, she presented herself to the RCMP after hearing the Amber Alert.
“I can tell you that there was a collective sigh of relief amongst all of my colleagues when we got that information,” said WPS spokesperson Const. Rob Carver at a hastily-called press conference which a being planned as news that the boy was safely located. “There was a sense as it was unfolding and we were hoping that that was how it was looking like. There was a sense of bated breath and that was what we were hoping for.
“This unfolded exactly the way we wanted it to.”
This marked the first time that the Amber Alert system had been used by the WPS while the RCMP has done one, Carver said.
“We are very thankful that the mother, in this case, made the decision to stop at an RCMP detachment, meet officers and make sure that everyone knew that the child was safe and she was cooperating.”
Winnipeg Police thanked the public for their incredible response to this situation, as well as the RCMP for their invaluable assistance.
“We have certainly trained in (carrying out an Amber Alert) and gone through scenarios on what it would look like but I can tell that I was quite surprised at the response from the public,” said Carver. “Our call centre was fielding lots of calls from the public regarding sightings or possible sightings of vehicles that matched this description. That’s the kind of thing we need from the public and I want to thank everyone that took the time to do that. Even though those weren’t the vehicles no one including our officers knows that at the time. We have indications that possibly the vehicle had left the jurisdiction of the city but we don’t know that.
“It’s those kind of tips that allow us to move forward if the initial information we have is incorrect. In this situation the initial information was correct and we did know that vehicle was headed to northwestern Manitoba. But that is not in any way downplay the public response which was really very strong.”