Father of abducted Canadian boy heading to Arizona

AP News
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Posted: Jun 02, 2011 2:21 PM
Father of abducted Canadian boy heading to Arizona

A jubilant father is making plans to travel to Arizona from Canada to be reunited with his 10-year-old son, who has been missing for 7 1/2 years.

Garrett Taylor says he just about gave up hope of ever finding his son Valor.

Taylor told The Arizona Republic that his family figured the boy would try and find them when he gets older. That changed Sunday, when Taylor was told by police the boy was safe and living in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.

Authorities arrested 51-year-old Jaime Howell for causing a disturbance at a self-service laundry. Police discovered that Howell was wanted by Canadian authorities for taking the boy in 2004.

Taylor, his family and church are planning a welcome-home party next week for the boy.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A 10-year-old Canadian boy allegedly abducted by his mother six years ago has been found living in a suburb of Phoenix, authorities said.

Police in Chandler, Ariz., found Valor Howell with his mother on Sunday, when they answered a domestic call and discovered that Jamie Howell, 51, was wanted in Canada for alleged parental abduction.

Detectives said Valor was 3 when he was taken from his home in British Columbia.

His father, Garrett Taylor, said he had been searching for his son for years, hiring detectives and creating a "Find Valor Howell" Facebook page. Taylor wrote in one post that he thought about his son every minute of every day.

"Another birthday of yours has come and gone. Your family and I miss you even more during special dates," Taylor wrote. "We are all still stunned at the cold, callous and calculating way your mother and her family have hidden you from us."

Taylor told Canadian Press that after Jamie Howell left Canada with the boy, he found her in Spokane, Wash., where Howell's mother lives. Howell apparently fled before police could serve her.

Chandler police Detective Dave Ramer said the boy is in good condition and showed no signs of abuse or neglect.

"He was kind of withdrawn and aloof when it was first taking place with officers," Ramer said. "Currently he's in Child Protective Services, our local agency, and they're working with the father to reunite them."

Howell was taken into custody on suspicion of disorderly conduct after police responded to reports from patrons at a self-service laundry that a woman was being disruptive. Police were told that Howell began yelling and throwing soap when patrons confronted her about her son's behavior, Ramer said.

"(The behavior) was nothing egregious _ just the behavior of a 10-year-old boy who was probably bored," Ramer said.

Ramer said Howell will be held in custody on the disorderly conduct allegation until Canadian authorities can sort out a possible extradition.

It was unknown whether Howell lived in Arizona or how long she had been in Chandler, Ramer said.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com