KPHO: Child Abducted Seven Years Ago Turns Up in Chandler -- Which is Kinda True

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If you checked the KPHO website this afternoon, you might be thinking a child who mysteriously vanished from Canada seven years ago turned up over the weekend with a strange woman at a laundromat in Chandler.

Here's a link (although, the story has since been changed from its original version).

That's kinda what happened -- although, it's not quite as sensational as the CBS affiliate made it out to be.

The KPHO story gives the impression that the now 10-year-old boy was abducted from his Canadian parents in 2004. What KPHO leaves out of its story is that the woman with whom he was found in Chandler actually is his mother, and the "abduction" is more a parental-custody dispute than a mysterious, Jaycee Dugard-esque kidnapping.

Chandler Detective David Ramer tells New Times the boy, Valor Health Howell of Grand Forks, British Columbia, was last seen by his father on December 1, 2004. The boy's father shared custody with his mother, Jamie Howell.

Howell, however, left Canada for Arizona and brought the boy with her, defying a Canadian joint-custody agreement.

On Sunday, Chandler police got a call saying that Howell was in a laundromat near Warner and Alma School Roads and that she was causing a disturbance.

When police arrived, it was determined that Howell had a warrant for her arrest out of Canada for not obeying the court-ordered custody agreement.

Ramer says the child currently is in the custody of Child Protective Services and will be sent back to his father in Canada.

As for Howell, Ramer says the crime she committed is a "non-extraditable" offense. He says the Chandler Police Department has been in contact with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to try and find a way to get her back to Canada to face a charge.

That's our version of the story -- however, you can see KPHO "tell it like it is" in it's original blurb below.

A child found with a woman in a Chandler Laundromat was abducted in Canada seven years ago, according to police.

The owner of a Laundromat on Alma School Road called police on Sunday to report a woman who was creating a ruckus and pulling clothes out of dryers, police said. When police arrived and questioned the woman, they found out she is connected to a missing child report and the child with her is the victim, according to the report.Valor Health Howell, 10, was first reported missing on Dec. 1, 2004, in Grand Forks, British Columbia.
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4 comments
J Curwen
J Curwen

Ever wonder how many of the kids one sees on milk cartons are actually pawns in parental custody disputes?

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