In 2016 an emotionally distressed Tasha Brown spoke to reporters about the whereabouts of her daughter Kaydance Paige Etchells. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

In 2016 an emotionally distressed Tasha Brown spoke to reporters about the whereabouts of her daughter Kaydance Paige Etchells. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

WATCH: Mom thrilled after abducted Saanich toddler located in Europe three years later

It’s been three years since Lauren Etchells left Canada with 19-month-old Kaydance

It has been three years since the mother of Kaydance Paige Etchells came forward with an emotional tale of alleged parental abduction. Now an update on the case has come.

On July 1, Saanich Police received a call from the RCMP liaison officer in London, England, advising that Lauren Etchells, her parents, Brian and Angela, along with her two children, Kaydance and Marcus, had been picked up by the States of Jersey Police and Jersey Customs and Immigration Service.

The group was spotted landing a 13-foot inflatable dinghy on the shores just south of St. Catherine, Jersey, a small island in the English Channel near Normandy, France.

The group was questioned about their plans and told officials they were going holidaying in France and decided to pop over to Jersey for a visit. None of the five passengers had passports and it quickly became apparent to officials that their story did not add up.

When the Jersey Police learned of their identities, they believed the group may have been attempting to get to the UK via Jersey in order to avoid passport control on UK soil.

The three adults — Etchells and her parents — were arrested for offences relating to child neglect and immigration. All three have pled guilty in relation to these charges and Etchells remains in custody as a result of a provisional arrest warrant for her extradition to Canada.

The two children — Kaydance and Marcus — were apprehended and have been placed in foster care while the complexities of this international investigation are worked through.

“[Kaydance] is in good health, is happy and appears to have been well cared for,” said Sgt. Julie Fast, public information officer for the Saanich Police.

Tasha Brown, Kaydance’s mother, said in a statement she’s extremely grateful to learn that Kaydance was in good health and in good care but noted she can’t celebrate 100 per cent until Kaydance is back in Canada.

Brown is spending the day with her lawyer and various agencies involved in bringing Kaydance home safely.

On Sept. 26, 2016, Brown made a desperate plea to the media to help locate Kaydance, who police say was abducted by Brown’s estranged wife, Etchells, on May 8, 2016.

Working with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and Interpol, Saanich Police have been trying to locate Etchells since 2016, when they say she fled to London.

On June 8, 2016, a Canada-wide warrant was issued for Etchells, along with red-flagging her internationally so that if caught, she would be detained for extradition.

While investigators worked on the file from their end, Brown took to social media, engaging in her own search for her daughter. Through each stream of the investigation, police learned that Etchells, along with Kaydance and Marcus, travelled from Canada to England, to France, to the Netherlands, to the Middle East and possibly to Spain and Portugal.

At some point, Etchells broke off her relationship with Marco van der Merwe and continued to move about Europe with her two children.

With the movement between countries, a ‘Red Notice’ was published by Interpol, which is essentially an international flag that the person is wanted. According to police, this flag is what brought an end to Etchells flight from justice.

The process of bringing Kaydance and Etchells back to Canada has now begun but police say it will take time.

Etchells and her parents appeared in the Jersey Magistrate’s Court where they all entered guilty pleas for their charges.

Three years have passed since Kaydance disappeared but Etchells’ and Brown’s relationship began a number of years prior.

Etchells and Brown married in August 2012, but were together for five years prior to their union, writes Brown in a GoFundMe page description.

RELATED: Distraught mom seeks abducted Saanich toddler

The couple wanted to start a family and found a male donor located in Edmonton. Etchells gave birth to Kaydance in September 2014.

Brown finished her education degree in 2015 and the pair decided to start a new life in the United Arab Emirates where Brown had secured a two-year teaching contract at a private international school.

Homosexuality is illegal in the U.A.E and the couple feared persecution if both of their names appeared on Kaydance’s birth certificate. Going before the courts in March 2015, the couple had Brown’s name removed from Kaydance’s birth certificate.

Things began to change in July 2015, when the couple began to plan for a second child. Their original donor had moved away so they chose a close friend of Etchells’ to be their next donor — van der Merwe.

“By the end of July 2015 the fractures in our relationship could not be ignored anymore,” writes Brown on the GoFundMe page. The couple separated on July 31, 2015. By early August, van der Merwe had left Canada and returned to his home in Qatar.

Brown began to suspect Etchells had plans to leave Canada when she found a one-way ticket to Qatar and informed her lawyer in September 2015. Etchells was court-ordered to surrender her and Kaydance’s passports. They were also ordered to stay on Vancouver Island until a court date was scheduled.

According to the timeline on Brown’s GoFundMe page, despite Etchells being ordered to surrender their passports, she was granted renewal of her U.K. passport under the condition it be returned to her lawyer.

RELATED: Saanich Police extends child abduction investigation into Netherlands

Etchells is alleged to have taken her renewed passport and illegally applied for a Canadian passport for Kaydance misleading the Canadian passport office and receiving a Canadian passport for Kaydance.

On May 9, 2016, a day after Etchells allegedly left the country, Brown held a regularly scheduled Skype call with Etchells and Kaydance. It was odd to Brown that Kaydance was already in her pyjamas, and that the date stamp on the Skype call said 1:30 a.m.

“[I] brushed it off as a Skype glitch and didn’t question [it],” writes Brown. “Looking back, I wish I had.”

Saanich Police withheld the release of the case to the public for more than three months for several reasons, one of which was to protect Etchells from possible prosecution of homosexuality in a Middle Eastern country.

Brown later learned that Etchells and van der Merwe were engaged. According to Saanich Police, when they finally reached van der Merwe he was not co-operative.

In an email to the Saanich News in 2016, van der Merwe said he and Etchells are not together and that she deceived him about her ability to leave Canada

“I do not know where Miss Etchells is. I do not have contact with Miss Etchells, she lied to me about being able to leave the country,” wrote van der Merwe.

-With Black Press files



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Saanich Police Department

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

 

A Canada wide warrant has been issued for Lauren Etchell, who allegedly took her daughter Kaydance Etchells (pictured) out of the country against a court order. (Facebook)

A Canada wide warrant has been issued for Lauren Etchell, who allegedly took her daughter Kaydance Etchells (pictured) out of the country against a court order. (Facebook)

A Canada wide warrant has been issued for Lauren Etchell, who allegedly took her daughter Kaydance Etchells (pictured) out of the country against a court order. (Facebook)

A Canada wide warrant has been issued for Lauren Etchell, who allegedly took her daughter Kaydance Etchells (pictured) out of the country against a court order. (Facebook)

The a boat used by the group to land on the shore at Jersey. (Saanich Police handout)

The a boat used by the group to land on the shore at Jersey. (Saanich Police handout)

Just Posted

Members of the Victoria Police Department, some of whom are shown here observing a moment of silence for victims of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, experience stress and potential trauma more than most other workers, says Chief Const. Del Manak. While the number of shifts lost at VicPD are soaring, he sees it as a sign people are taking their own health and wellness seriously. (Black Press Media file photo)
Skyrocketing number of lost shifts at Victoria police has a positive side, chief says

Chief Const. Del Manak says officers, staff being more proactive looking after their mental health

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested after stealing water taxi, racing it up Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head inmates in Metchosin receive their first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read