International Child Abduction of two Canadian children still missing in Europe after a non-custodial Mother, with the assistance of her father, used a “Canceled” Canadian passport to enter the United States, board an airline and travel to Germany.
Online PR News – 04-June-2010 – – Newmarket, ON – Stephen Watkins is the father and sole custodial parent to Alexander and Christopher Watkins. He has spent the past 15-months working with authorities to locate the abducted boys. Stephen Watkins is enduring a nightmare that no parent should have to live through. It is believed that the abductor and the boys were driven across the U.S border on March 8, 2009 during a weekend access visit with the mother aided by the maternal grandfather, Tadeusz (Ted) Ustaszewski. Since that time, Mr. Ustaszewski has been charged with “Aiding and Abetting” in the child abduction and his trial has been set for December 13, 2010.
In September 2009, a rare INTERPOL “Red Notice” was issued by the Canadian Government seeking the arrest of the abducting Mother. However, it wasn’t until in January of this year, Mr. Watkins was able to obtain a Court Order in Poland which allowed the Polish Police to actively search out the abducing parent and ordering a nation-wide police effort.
U.S. Homeland Security have confirmed that Edyta Ustaszewska - Watkins and the boys - then ages 7 and 4 – boarded a flight to Germany. They have not been heard from since and are believed to be in Poland, Austria, Germany or somewhere in Europe.
Mr. Watkins has been petitioning the Canadian Government for changes to its regulation – specifically in two areas – to prevent similar incidents in the future. His ex-wife was able to take the boys out of the country even though the Courts had ordered:
- That her passport be canceled due to non-payment of support;
- That she surrender the boys’ passports;
- That the boys not leave Ontario; and
- That no new passports be issued
Mrs. Edyta Ustaszewska - Watkins, who claimed in Court that she had lost the boys’ passports, apparently used them – and her own ‘Canceled’ passport – to enter the U.S., board a airline and flew from there to Germany.
U.S. Homeland Security has confirmed that all three flew on Canadian passports.
In this instance, foreign custom officers failed to ask for an ‘authorization’ letter – this is required when minors travel with one parent. In the case of Mr. Watkins’ sons, custom officers in two countries in addition to the Northwest / Delta Airlines, failed to ensure that the abducting parents’ Canadian passport was valid, as it had been cancelled by the Canadian Government and confirmed suspended 42-days prior to the abduction on January 26, 2009.
Mr. Watkins originally obtained a Joint Custody Order in 2006. In November, 2007, the courts ordered the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) to remove the boys from Mrs. Watkins care and her parental authority was suspended. On Jan. 29, 2008 their father was given Custody Care by the courts and after a lengthy trial Stephen Watkins was awarded Final Sole Custody of his sons on Jan. 26, 2009. Six weeks later, Alexander and Christopher Watkins were abducted. Both little boys were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; the older son has been diagnosed with High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
This is the first known Canadian case of a concerned parent involving a missing children’s organization before an abduction. Mr. Watkins contacted Child Find Ontario in September, 2008, when he saw signs that his ex-wife was going to abduct his sons. Ms. Terry Smith, case director of Child Find Ontario has been assisting in searching for the Watkins Missing Children.
CHILD FIND ONTARIO and MISSING CHILDREN SOCIETY OF CANADA are supporting Mr. Watkins in Canada; TAKA Centre for Missing People in Poland (ITAKA Centrum Poszukiwań Ludzi Zaginionych) is assisting in Poland.
Mr. Watkins hopes that the release of the PSA abduction story video of his sons in the languages of English, French, Polish and German, will create the media attention to his case will lead to the safe location and return of his little boys and also promote public awareness to evoke change in Canadian regulations. "My wish is through simple changes within Canadian regulations that I can help to prevent another parent going through the same trauma I feel every day since my boys have been gone."
To see the PSA Music video see: http://www.Watkins-Missing-Children.com
Mr. Watkins has documented the issues which led to the abduction and provides more information on how to help find Alexander Watkins and Christopher Watkins on his website, http://www.Watkins-Missing-Children.com . He has also created pages on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and a Blog with the assistance of two world online organizations, FOREVER SEARCHING and HELP FIND MY CHILD.
More detail and full documentation can be easily and gratefully provided.
Biological and Custodial Father, Stephen Watkins (416) 828-9326