B.C. mother makes emotional plea on birthday of allegedly abducted daughter
Kaydance Etchells, a Victoria toddler allegedly abducted by her mother, is shown in this submitted photo.
More than a year after a Saanich woman allegedly abducted her baby daughter and fled to Europe, investigators say they're tracking down a person of interest in the high-profile case.
A Canada-wide warrant was issued for the arrest of Lauren Ann Etchells after she defied a court order by flying with her daughter Kaydance Etchells to London, England in May 2016.
Kaydance, who turned three years old today, was not permitted to be removed from Vancouver Island without the consent of her mother Tasha Brown, who shares custody with Etchells.
"Today is Kaydance's third birthday. A year ago today, I went public with the plea for the world to help me find her, so it's been a horrible experience," Brown told CTV News Tuesday.
Their current whereabouts are unknown but it’s believed they are living somewhere in Europe.
On Tuesday, Saanich police said they were still working with partner agencies overseas in an attempt to bring Kaydance home safely and believe that a person of interest, Marco van der Merwe, is now in the Netherlands.
Merwe, Etchells' new partner who accompanied her and Kaydance to England last year, could have valuable information on the whereabouts of Kaydance and Etchells, police said.
"It's been reported that he's working in the Netherlands," said Brown. "I believe that where Marco is, Kaydance will be near."
She's directing people to a Facebook page featuring pictures of Kaydance and those who allegedly abducted her in hopes someone will recognize them.
"When this all started, people told me that you have to be your own advocate and that is the real truth of it all," she said. "If I don't keep carrying this on and making my voice heard, it's not going to be, and that's the biggest burden."
Anyone with information on Kaydance's whereabouts is asked to contact the Saanich Police Information Line at 1-888-980-1919, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection at 1-866-543-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.