An autistic Ontario boy, who was the subject of an Ontario wide Amber alert was found a fair ways away from his Hamilton home, as he discovered over the weekend to be in Port Edward.
The boy who had been travelling with his father, was reported as missing on September 22nd when he did not arrive home as originally planned. In fact, concerns grew on the 19th of September when he never arrived with his father at a pre-arranged fishing location in Northern Ontario. As the days progressed and the alert went out, police officials in Ontario became fearful for his safety and police began to track the case as a potential kidnapping.
The trail came to an end in Port Edward when an observant citizen contacted the Prince Rupert RCMP, after deciding that something didn't seem quite right between the boy and his father.
The boy is in the custody of the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development, with plans in the works to reunite him with his mother. The father has been detained by the Prince Rupert RCMP while the Crown decides whether any further action will be necessary.
Autistic boy found Amber Alert helps locate Ancaster 13-year-old in B.C.
The Hamilton Spectator
(Sep 29, 2008)
A B.C. campground co-owner is being credited with helping police locate a 13-year-old autistic boy from Ancaster, who had been missing with his father for nearly a week.
The two were found by the RCMP in Port Edward, a community about 15 kilometres east of Prince Rupert, B.C., following a call from the campground co-owner.
The youngster was unharmed and taken to the RCMP detachment in Prince Rupert, police said.
The father was apprehended, questioned and later released by police. Police are working with the Ministry of the Attorney General to decide whether child abduction charges should be laid in the case, said acting Detective Sergeant Chris Kiriakopoulos, of the Hamilton Police.
The boy is being looked after by B.C.'s Ministry for Children and Families until Wednesday, when he will be flown home to his mother and two older brothers, Kiriakopoulos said. Police say the mother was emotional when she heard her son had been found.
Hamilton Police issued an Amber Alert for the boy last Monday after he and his dad did not return home from a scheduled fishing trip in the North Bay area.
The mother who had custody of boy -- and police -- were concerned because the boy only had three days worth of medication.
Police believe the father drove almost non-stop the nearly 5,000 kilometres from Ontario to B.C.
They also believe he switched vehicles at some point, from a white 1999 GMC Sierra truck to a blue truck with Ontario licence plates. The second vehicle was not reported as being stolen, Kiriakopoulos confirmed.
The father booked a month's stay at the Kinnikinnick Campground and RV Park in Port Edward, but he began to act strangely in the morning, which tipped off the campground worker, Kiriakopoulos said.
The campground co-owner, who did not want to give her name, told the Spectator she felt uncomfortable by the man's actions and decided to check the Amber Alert website.
"Sure enough, there was his picture, along with his father's," the woman said.
She called police and within 20 minutes RCMP officers arrived at the campground.
Kiriakopoulos and the RCMP praised her astute reaction and resourcefulness.
"We saw how quick somebody can disappear across the country. We are grateful the witness out there was as alert as she was."
Missing Ontario boy found in B.C. following Amber Alert
Canwest News Service
Sunday, September 28, 2008
PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. -- A 13-year-old autistic boy reported missing since last week from Hamilton, Ont., has been found safe and sound in B.C.
Police suspected Austin Large was kidnapped by his father, Elias Large, after the pair failed to arrive at a pre-arranged destination on Sept. 19 following a weekend fishing trip.
They were supposed to fish in the North Bay area, however, police believe they never arrived.
When Elias and Austin didn't return home on Sept. 22, Hamilton Police Services issued a Ontario-wide Amber Alert for the boy.
A citizen later spotted the pair in Port Edward, B.C., and contacted Prince Rupert RCMP. Police found Austin in good condition on Saturday.
Austin is currently in the care of B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development, who are making arrangements for his return to Ontario. His father has been detained by police.
Elias Large was said to be stressed over the break up of his marriage and was behaving abnormally prior to his departure for the trip.
It is not known whether charges will be laid.