One year ago, an emotionally distressed Tasha Brown speaks to reporters about the whereabouts of her daughter Kaydance Paige Etchells. She turns three years old today. Travis Paterson / Black Press

Saanich Police extends child abduction investigation into Netherlands

Saanich woman seeking three-year-old daughter taken more than a year ago

One year after the mother of Kaydance Paige Etchells came forward with an emotional tale of parental abduction, Saanich Police say they have tracked down a person of interest in the Netherlands.

Acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie said Tuesday that police are trying to contact Marco van der Merwe with the hope he can offer information about the whereabouts of Kaydance. Van der Merwe was engaged to Kaydance’s abductor, Lauren Ann Etchells, the estranged wife of Kaydance’s mother, Tasha Brown.

“Detectives are attempting to locate him in hopes that he can provide valuable information about the whereabouts of Kaydance and Lauren,” said Leslie in a release.

Police issued the statement one year after Brown held a news conference during which she described how her estranged wife Lauren Etchells had abducted Kaydance, who turns three years old today.

Lauren Etchells has been the subject of a Canadawide warrant since June 8, 2016 for abducting Kaydance. She has been red-flagged internationally and, if caught, will be detained for extradition.

Brown and Etchells conceived Kaydance through the use a donor.

Etchells carried and gave birth to Kaydance in 2014. The name of both parents appeared on Kaydance’s first birth certificate and the family lived happily in Edmonton, Brown said. Brown and Etchells had been in a relationship since 2009 and married in 2012.

But things began to change with a separation process that started in July 2015. That year Etchells obtained a secondary birth certificate for Kaydance, showing her as the only parent.

In September 2015, a court ordered Etchells to surrender her and Kaydance’s passports and remain on Vancouver Island until a court could consider the case.

But Etchells disregarded this order and abducted Kaydance on May 8, 2016, when she 19 months old. Etchells, who has a UK passport, fled to London with Kaydance, and her infant son, Marcus, on a WestJet flight, police said.

Following the separation, Brown said she learned that Etchells was engaged to van der Merwe, a South African living in Qatar. When Saanich Police initially reached van der Merwe, he was not co-operative, Leslie said a year ago.

One notable issue concerns the police’s decision to withhold information about the case for several months. Leslie said a main reason for this was to protect Etchells from harm. “We didn’t want to endanger her if she’s in a Middle East country or a country that views same-sex [relationships] as illegal,” Leslie said.

Etchells has a history of visiting the Middle East. Brown and Etchells had planned to spend two years in the United Arab Emirates, a plan that ceased with their separation.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Lauren Etchell has been the subject of a Canada-wide warrent since June 8, 2016 for abducting her daughter Kaydance Etchells out of country against a court order. Kaydance turns three years old today.

Just Posted

COVID-inspired RV sales soaring on West Shore and beyond

Health restrictions, recommendations keep Vancouver Island vacationers closer to home

UPDATE: Pedestrian injured in collision on Hillside Avenue

Traffic impacted between Douglas and Blanshard streets

‘Just being stupid’: Premier slams abusive customers at Langford restaurant

Restaurant said rude customers reduced its hosts to tears

Turf replacement installed at Oak Bay High

New Astroturf will be ready for school, sports still cancelled

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read