LETHBRIDGE - **NOTE -- This story has been up-dated to reflect the fact that the Crown requested, and was granted, a publication ban on the identity of the mother and child.**
A new chapter is about to open in a three-year child abduction drama.
A 33-year-old woman made an initial court appearance in Lethbridge on Thursday (Aug 10) for child abduction charges. The woman had been wanted since 2014 after she allegedly failed to drop off her then 11-month-old son for a court-ordered visit, which then led to the child's father being granted sole interim custody.
Since then, police allege she left the country with the boy, taking him to Mexico, Guatemala, and finally Belize. Their disappearance was the subject of a number of notices through INTERPOL.
On July 19 of this year, the Lethbridge Police Service got a tip that they were in the town of San Ignacio, where they were taken into custody by Belize police officers. The mother was held and fined for failing to have valid documents, while the child was placed in the care of Belize Human Services. Arrangements are now being made to bring the little boy back to Alberta where he can be reunited with his father.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday (Aug. 9) the mother was deported to the United States, where she was arrested at the airport in Houston and returned to Canada. Lethbridge police arrested her at Calgary International Airport.
In a news release, lead investigator, Sgt. Cam Van Roon thanked the numerous agencies that helped lead to her arrest, but added the bureaucracy and red tape involved often allowed her to stay one step ahead of authorities.
The woman is scheduled to be back in court on Tuesday, August 15.
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