A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for a Saanich woman who is accused of abducting her two-year-old daughter.
On May 14 Tasha Brown contacted Saanich police to report her estranged wife, Lauren Etchells, may have abducted their then 19-month-old daughter, Kaydance Etchells.
“I’ve waited in painful silence for nearly five months to publicly ask for help in locating Kaydance,” Brown said at a press conference on Monday.
After Brown and Lauren separated, Kaydance lived with Lauren full-time.
“Tasha had visitation rights that were to increase incrementally with a goal of joint custody,” Sgt. Jereme Leslie said.
Kaydance, Lauren, Lauren’s son and Lauren’s new partner, Marco van der Merwe, flew from Vancouver to England on May 8, according to police.
Lauren is a dual Canadian and UK citizen, police say.
In August 2015, a court order was signed by a provincial court judge stating that Lauren needed to surrender Kaydance’s UK passport, that she cannot apply for a Canadian passport for Kaydance, nor can she leave Vancouver Island.
According to police, in April 2016 Lauren lied to Passport Canada and obtained a Canadian passport for Kaydance.
Saanich police have since learned that Lauren, Kaydance, and Lauren’s son travelled from England to France, all three travelling with UK passports.
Their current whereabouts are unknown at this time, but it’s believed they are living somewhere in Europe, police say.
Monday marked Kaydance’s second birthday.
“Today I celebrate her birth again, but with tears of sorrow,” Brown said. “If I had one birthday wish for you Kaydance it would be that you would be found and brought back to Canada.”
Brown has started a GoFundMe page to raise awareness on the issue.
Saanich police have been working with a number of agencies including Interpol and the RCMP National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains.
The warrant for Lauren’s arrest is for one count of abduction by a parent and two counts of disobeying a court order.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Saanich police at 1-888-980-1919, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection at 1-866-543-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Police issue Canada-wide warrant for arrest of Saanich woman, Lauren Etchells, accused of abducting 2 yr old daughter. See @CTVNewsVI— Robert Buffam (@CTVNewsRob) September 26, 2016