A nine-year-old Vancouver boy who was reported missing on March 9 has been found near Phoenix, Arizona, police announced on Wednesday.
The boy, Emerson Cusworth, went missing in what police believe was a kidnapping by his mother, Shawana Chaudhary, in violation of a court order.
Chaudhary has been taken into custody and is expected to be extradited to Canada to face charges.
Chaudhary shares custody of Emerson with his father and they have a court-ordered parenting schedule. Emerson’s father went to pick him up after school on Friday, March 9, as per the schedule, but Emerson wasn’t there.
Police were called and detectives from the VPD’s Special Investigations Section took over the investigation.
Detectives were able to track Chaudhary, Emerson, and his younger sister to the Phoenix area. With the assistance of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the three were safely located on March 27.
With help from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, steps are now being taken to have Emerson and his sister returned to Canada.
Crown Counsel in BC has approved a charge against Chaudhary related to the alleged abduction.
Police said she will be arrested upon her return to Canada in the coming days.
VPD Const. Jason Doucette said at this point, police “don’t have the specifics” on how the trio ended up in the Phoenix area.