The Montreal Gazette |
Mother Rejoices After Abducted Son Is Found In California
Judy Seymour says the
two years spent searching for her 11 year old son have been the most painful
of her life. "I'm exhausted," the Montreal woman said yesterday, one
day after being reunited with Michael. "I've spent the last 23 months crying
myself to sleep." "At times I feared that I would never see him again
but I wouldn't give up trying. One thing's for sure; I won't be leaving my boy
in any one else's care for a very long time."
Two years ago, during a custody dispute, the boy and his father disappeared
from a Nova Scotia commune run by the Northeast Kingdom Community Church, a
fundamentalist religious group that preaches the corporal punishment of children.
The two were found Thursday when FBI agents raided a Santa Cruz, Calif. home
that serves as a branch of the fundamentalist group. Edward Dawson, 39, is awaiting
extradition to face abduction charges in Canada.
Seymour, a 32 year old sales representative in the fashion industry, picked
the boy up Thursday in California. She went there earlier in the week after
getting advance notice from the FBI that they had found her son.
When she learned Michael was found, she screamed. "Oh my God! Oh my God!
My baby's found. I have to buy him a bedset," she said. Michael was taken
away by a child welfare worker and driven to his waiting mother. "Within
three minutes he came over, gave me a big hug and said he loved me," said
Seymour, who added her son loves the religious group.
"He doesn't want anyone saying anything bad about the community. He's very
sensitive about everything now."
Seymour insisted that she harbors no resentment toward her former common law
husband. "When I spoke with him last night from my home, I asked him if
he now understood the sense of loss that I had lived through," Seymour
said. "He said that he did and that he was truly sorry."
Seymour said that she could see no apparent change in her son. "I know
that Michael had a difficult time but he's just a normal kid and I want to focus
on the now and live a normal life," she said. "All I really want is
more days like we had today."
"We went shopping for Michael's favorite foods, bought him a ski jacket
and just hung out in the park."