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Charges laid against Hamilton father after Amber Alert issued
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Sunday, June 28, 2020 12:51PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 29, 2020 11:35AM EDT
Police have charged a Hamilton father after an Amber Alert was issued on Sunday for a six-year-old boy, who was later located safe.
Niagara police Const. Phil Gavin told CTV News Toronto that officers got a call from a family member around 9 a.m.
"They received information that was concerning, which ultimately led to our detectives being involved," Gavin said.
He noted the boy had been in the care of his 44-year-old father "in recent times," but said some things transpired on Sunday that led the family members and officers to have concern for the welfare of the child.
"We're not going to get into the exact specifics of that," Gavin said. "That's part of the ongoing investigation."
An alert was issued for the boy around 12:45 p.m. Police characterized the incident as a "possible child abduction," that may have occurred in St. Catharines.
The pair was believed to be driving in a gold 2016 Mercedes SLK with an unknown license plate.
At approximately 1:10 p.m., Gavin said the boy's father surrendered to police in St. Catharines and brought his son with him when he became aware of the Amber Alert naming him.
"Much like the way all of us are impacted when an Amber Alert comes out, be it your TV or radio or your mobile device, the same thing happened to him. And as a result, he turned himself in," Gavin said.
He said the father has been arrested and the investigation is ongoing.
"They're speaking to different people just to see where we sit if charges are warranted," Gavin said.
On Sunday evening, police said John Mitchell has been charged with abduction in contravention of custody or parenting order and disobeying order of the court.
Mitchell is being held in custody pending a video bail hearing on Monday.
Despite some people who were unhappy with the police for issuing the alert and disturbing their Sunday afternoon, Gavin said they're going to continue to do it for the safety of the children.
"This is another example that the Amber alert system works."