WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg mother has been charged with abduction and flight from police after officers tracked her down with her children Friday afternoon.
The brother and sister, ages 9 and 11, went missing from a home in St. James Monday night.
A Canada-wide warrant was issued for the mother. Police also issued a public plea to the mother to do the right thing and bring the children back.
Constable Jason Michalyshen says they received some key tips Friday that led them to the family.
“There were some key developments over the last 24 hours that did allow us to identify where she was, a vehicle she was operating, the area she was operating that vehicle in,” he said.
That led them to the mother, who was allegedly driving a Ford Expedition near Amherst Street in St. James.
Officers tried to pull the vehicle over, not knowing whether or not the children were inside. But police allege the mother wouldn’t stop. That led to a six or seven minute pursuit.
“Her manner of driving I would not describe as erratic. She was making efforts to evade police,” Michalyshen said.
Police say the mother then allegedly tried to flee with the kids on foot near Bruce Park. But moments later, the woman was arrested and the children were taken into care unharmed.
“They’re in good health and my understanding is the officers that were directly responsible for the care of the children at that time had them chuckling and laughing very quickly, which was very nice to hear,” Michalyshen said.
The mother has been charged with two counts of abduction where no custody order and flight while pursued by a peace officer. She is innocent until proven guilty.
“We had no doubt that (the mother) loves her children. She’s going through some challenges right now,” Michalyshen said.
The children are now in the care of Child and Family Services. Members of the Child Abuse Unit have been speaking to them.
“We want to obtain certain details from the children and we want to make sure that the children are cared for moving forward,” he said.
Police believe the three were in the city all week and that the mother had been trying to disguise her appearance.
“We do have evidence and information to support she may have disguised her appearance or changed her appearance in some way early on or potentially on other occasions when she obtained the children and may have been out and about with the children,” Michalyshen said.
Police say the Ford Exhibition the mother was driving was borrowed, but no one has been charged with assisting the woman at this time.