Mother of missing Duncan, B.C. girl links dispute with father to mask mandate in schools
The mother of a missing Duncan, B.C., girl says she fears for her daughter’s safety while the RCMP reiterate the girl is not in danger.
Roget Hall identifies herself as the mother of Violet Bennett, 7, who was reported missing to North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP on Sunday. The RCMP believe she’s with her father, Jesse Bennett, 36.
“Due to mask mandates, her father wishes to pull her out of school, something I have refused to do,” Hall said in a statement to CTV News.
“Me and Jesse have never gotten along," she added. "We have different views and opinions on many subjects, but we both agree on one thing and that’s our love for Violet.”
Hall said she’s only seen her daughter a handful of times since October, despite sharing custody with her father.
“Unfortunately, our previous court order was not police-enforceable. I knew she was safe in Duncan with him, and so I went through the right court channels to get her back,” she said.
The RCMP said a joint custody agreement in the Victoria Family Law Court on Jan. 20 determined Jesse had to return Violet to her mother immediately. Police have been unable to contact him since.
“I have no idea where she is, if she’s OK, if she’s even with him,” Hall wrote. “As a mother, I don’t know how to handle this situation. I feel shattered, broken, numb to everything.”
RCMP have spoken with people who know Jesse and do not believe Violet is in danger based on those conversations.
“At this point, we don’t have any information to suggest that… Jesse would hurt her, which would be the criteria for issuing an amber alert,” Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet told CTV News.
“We’re following up on some banking information, looking at social media, talking to anybody who might have seen Jesse or have information about where he may or not be going with Violet," Shoihet said.
Police are investigating potential sightings of the pair, she added.
Jesse Bennett is described as a white man who stands 5' 10" tall and weighs roughly 160 pounds. He has blue eyes, a brown beard, a bald head, and may be wearing a hat.
Violet Bennett is described as a white girl who stands 4' tall and weighs 50 to 60 pounds. She has blue eyes and curly hair.
“Violet is the sweetest, most caring, beautiful child. She loves to climb trees, swim in any body of water, play, collect rocks, do arts and crafts,” Hall said. “She’s very wild by nature and has no issues having dirt under her nails.”
Anyone with information on Jesse or Violet's whereabouts is asked to contact their local police, or North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.
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