Mother of abducted Miami boy found in Moncton joyful, thanks tipster and police

Investigators say a tipster spotted the six-year-old and his father at a Walmart in Moncton on Sunday after seeing media coverage of the abduction. (Serge Clavet/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Investigators say a tipster spotted the six-year-old and his father at a Walmart in Moncton on Sunday after seeing media coverage of the abduction. (Serge Clavet/Radio-Canada - image credit)

A Florida mother says she'll be eternally grateful to the person who called police Sunday, resulting in her abducted six-year-old son being found in Moncton.

The boy from Miami was allegedly abducted by his father and grandmother Aug. 27 as the parents went through a custody dispute.

Surveillance footage showed the father and son Aug. 29 at a store in Maine near the Canada-U.S. border. An abandoned SUV was found in the area the same day. Investigators suggested the three illegally crossed into Canada.

It was the last sign of them. For two months, the child's mother didn't know where her son was or whether he'd be OK.

On Sunday, the FBI called to tell her someone at a Moncton Walmart tipped off the RCMP after recognizing the family from media coverage.

"I've been crying out of happiness — I didn't know how that felt," the woman said in an interview Monday. "I've been crying out of sadness for two months."

CBC is not naming the family members to protect the identity of the child since he is no longer missing.

Spoke with son Sunday

The mother was able to speak to her son, who has autism, by phone Sunday. She said he's been with a social worker and is doing well.

"He has no idea what's going on, he just knows he's playing with Lego and he's going to see me soon," she said.

She said a passport for the boy was being expedited, and he may be brought back to Miami by the social worker as early as Monday night.

The mother said a "thank you" isn't enough for the person who called police.

"I'm just overwhelmed with eternal gratitude," she said.

"If I could ever get ahold of this person I would just love to talk to them and thank them personally. It took courage, I'm sure, to make that phone call. But that phone call was the difference between a family getting reunited and a kid being in danger."

She said she's also thankful for the many law enforcement agencies that were part of the investigation on both sides of the border.

On Monday, the FBI declined to comment since it remains an active investigation.

Extradition process starting

Det. Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department told Radio-Canada the 45-year-old man and 69-year-old woman remain in Canadian custody. Zabaleta said the extradition process is getting started.

The Canadian Justice Department said in an email to CBC that extradition requests are confidential, and it won't confirm a request until it's made public by the court system.

The department's website on the extradition process indicates a judge will need to approve the request.