Mother reunited wth son abducted by father 31 years ago

HANDOUT  Missing Children Society of Canada

HANDOUT Missing Children Society of Canada

A forensic specialist then matched an old photo of Allan to the image on the CT driver's license of his apparent alias - Hailee DeSouza - and determined they were likely the same person, according to an arrest warrant.

A Canadian woman is encouraging "other families with missing children and loved ones not to ever, ever give up hope" after being reunited with the son she chased for 31 years.

"I grabbed him and I squeezed his head".

"I wanted to see if he was real".

"It felt good sitting by my baby", she said. He looked back at his mother and pointed out that they had the same eyes.

She expressed her gratitude to the Missing Children Society of Canada and the USA officials for working to find her son.

"The words, 'Your son is alive". And just a few days ago, authorities told her they'd found him.

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The tangled story began in June of 1987, when US and Canadian authorities say Jermaine was abducted by his biological father during a court-ordered visit in Toronto.

Mann was living in Vernon, Conn. with his son who was born as Jermaine Mann but was unknowingly using a fake name in the U.S.

After facing his charges in the USA, the father is expected to be extradited to face an abduction charge in Canada.

The 66-year-old Mann was produced in a federal court in Hartford on charges of making false statements in transactions with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

They agreed to work together to find Mann and his son, believing that Mann had entered the US illegally after taking the baby. The pair "stayed up late into the night talking" and spent time cooking together over the weekend visit, The Globe and Mail reports. "Finally he said, 'Mom I love you, ' and I said, 'I love you too son, '" she recounted.

Facial recognition technology helped break the case.

Ted Davis, a senior investigator with the Missing Children's Society of Canada who had previously worked for the Calgary Police Service, led the investigation into the abduction.

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In August, US marshals interviewed several of Mr Mann's relatives and friends, including a family member who led authorities to CT and his alleged alias, according to an arrest warrant affidavit prepared by a HUD special agent.

And in 2018, the forensic specialist has compared an old photo of Allan with a photo of the driver's license, issued to one Haile the DeSouza in CT, and suspected that one and the same person.

Neighbors arrested in Vernon said that he was shocked after learning about this story. He and Ms Mann-Lewis had separated the year before. "I've always known my child as Jermaine", she told reporters.

"The name that was given to him he had no choice in", she said. Whatever he preferred to be called, she'd do that for him.

"One should never give up, but be patient, be strong, and believe that all things are possible", she said. Speaking to The Globe and Mail in 2003, she said she'd held onto Jermaine's possessions.

Once she got there, she said, she was able to revel in the reality of touching her son again, adding he seemed quick to make connections of his own. At first she declined before saying "I thought it was so sad to do what he did". Jermaine was still on the list on Monday morning. "Never take a child from a parent", she said. The allegations against him have not been proven in court.

Jermaine had moved out about a year ago but still came to visit, she said.

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