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Where in the World is Kaydance?

Life after Parental Abduction: The struggle to find my daughter Kaydance & to bring her Home. 

"Abduction is a very serious offence under the Canadian Criminal Code. The term of imprisonment for abduction of a child under 14 years of age is up to 10 years."* 

*source: Legalline.ca

My story is long & full of personal details that I would rather not be sharing... Because who would ever want to lay themselves completely bare & vulnerable, for all the planet to see the lowest, most private & painful moments of their life? But, if by publicly & honestly sharing the specifics of our tale leads to the location & safe return of my daughter Kaydance, it will be worth the pain & sorrow of continuously reliving the past.  

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I met Lauren online in 2007 & we made an immediately meaningful connection, as if our relationship was simply meant to be. I lived in Nanaimo where I grew up; Lauren was living in Victoria & attending university. We were both excited to learn that we lived only about an hour apart, & we soon began to date in person. 

At first, Lauren's parents were shocked at her coming out of the closet; they  even protested that she "could not be homosexual, because she was too pretty to be gay". By then, Lauren & I had fallen in love & nothing anyone could say would keep us from being a couple. Me & Lauren were 2 peas in a pod, we did everything together! We lived as a loving common-law couple, we traveled to exotic locales, we had adventures, & we fell deeper in love as time passed.

   

After dating for 5 years, Lauren & I were legally married August 12, 2012; it was a joyful day!

In 2013, we decided to enlist a sperm donor so that we could start a family of our own. We found a wonderful man who was willing to donate to us & we signed a donor contract which clearly stated that I would be the baby's other parent, & that my name would be registered as such on the birth certificate.

With the contractual details settled, my wife & I began the D.I.Y. process of creating a life at our home in Edmonton. After a few trials & errors... guess what? The D.I.Y. artificial insemination worked! The pregnancy was such a sweet excitement that it seemed to pass in the blink of an eye; Lauren & I merrily looked forward to the birth of our child as we nestled into a previously unknown devotion to this little soul whom we had not yet met. When Lauren first felt Kaydance quicken & she laid my hand against her belly so that I could feel it too, we both laughed & cried.

 

On 09/26/2014, I coached Lauren through labour & delivery; together, my wife I experienced the miracle of life. As Kaydance made her debut into the world, everything that I had ever believed to be important suddenly paled in comparison to the wonder of that tiny little bundle. 

I had believed that I understood the meaning of love - after all, I had love for my parents & for my family, I had love for my friends, & I was deeply in love with Lauren... what more could there be to know?

But when I first held Kaydance in my arms, my heart instantly swelled beyond measure. All at once, I truly understood the reality of parental love as all-encompassing, limitless, & devine.

We were the most happy family those first months of Kaydance's life... I was so proud of Lauren, & I felt that our love was only made stronger by the birth of our little girl. We were delighted to show off our perfect baby & we appreciated every chance to share our joy at being new parents with our extended family & friends; Christmas of 2014 was one of the best times ever.

      

The 3 of us adjusted to life as a family; while I completed university, Lauren was home with Kaydance on maternity leave. To appease Lauren's desire to live in the Middle East, I applied for & secured a 2 year teaching contract (to start in August) at a private international school in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There was just one problem...

Homosexuality is illegal in the UAE. We would not be allowed to enter the UAE with 2 women's named as parents on Kaydance's birth certificate. 

We discussed the roadblock & decided that, to circumvent the anti-homosexuality bigotry, we would simply have my name removed from the birth certificate in order to enter the country & fulfill my contract. Since Lauren & I had previously lived & worked as a secret couple in the UAE, & I was desperate to gain some experience in my field, we felt that we could manage living there as a secret family - at least temporarily.

In March of 2015, Lauren & I went before the Alberta Queen's Bench in Edmonton to request an order to have my name removed from Kaydance's birth certificate. The judge recognized that our request was being made solely for Kaydance's & our family's protection, & that I was not trying to skirt my parental obligations but rather, safeguard them until we could return to Canada.

And so, in the biggest mistake of my life, I allowed my name to be removed from the birth certificate, essentially stripping me of my parental rights. Little did I realize, this single action would haunt me in the near future... but at that time, I COMPLETELY trusted my wife.

After the March court appearance, our blissful little family still residing in Edmonton, Lauren & I began planning to have our second child. Our original donor had moved away, so we decided to ask Lauren's best friend, Marco, if he would be willing to help us. Over the years, I had met Marco, & agreed he would be a good choice for a sperm donor. Marco (a South African) & Lauren had met while attending high school in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. Marco eagerly agreed to be a sperm donor for me & Lauren, & plans were set into motion.

After I completed my last university course, we decided to move back to BC to be closer to our families, since we would be flying to the UAE at the end of the summer where I would begin my teaching career. In early July 2015, Marco flew to Victoria, BC on the premise of being our sperm donor. *Please read further specific details of Marco's visit on The Accomplices page.

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By the end of July 2015, in light of everything that happened during Marco's visit, our marriage had fractured; Lauren & I agreed to informally separate on July 31, 2015.

I cancelled my teaching contract in the UAE & asked Lauren to put my name back on Kaydances' birth certificate, as was always intended to happen, but Lauren refused. She told me that she wanted the freedom to travel without having to have my permission to take Kaydance out of Canada! 

When I asked my wife what her short term plans were, she told me she didn't know. I suspected that she was going to leave Canada, but the my fears were confirmed - by accident, I discovered that Lauren had purchased one way tickets to Qatar, & she planned to take Kaydance out of Canada on September 5, 2015, without my consent, or even my knowledge!

I immediately retained a lawyer & thus began the most emotional journey imaginable. By this time, Marco had left Canada & flown back to Qatar August 9, 2015.

August 17, 2015: I went to court to get a non-removal order. After serving Lauren with the order, I went to the Nanaimo RCMP with the order & pictures of the airplane tickets to Qatar, but I was told that, due to a missing clause stating that the order was enforceable by police, they could not enforce it. Basically, Lauren would be able to leave Canada without issue. OMG...now what?

August 21, 2015: I was back in court hoping for a new order - one that would be enforceable. After learning about the plane tickets to Qatar, the judge issued an apprehension order that put Kaydance into my custody. The judge also ordered that Lauren surrender her & Kaydances' passports, & that she not leave Vancouver Island until the scheduled court date. Lauren was also ordered not to apply to receive a Canadian passport for Kaydance. 

My intent was not then, & even since, has never been to take Kaydance away from Lauren. All I wanted was that their passports be surrendered to ensure that Lauren would not flee with Kaydance & take her away from me. I voiced my concerns to my lawyer, & after the police apprehended Kaydance that weekend, the lawyers negotiated visitation between Kaydance & I until our case could be heard within the month. Kaydance & Lauren resumed living in Victoria with her parents. 

My lawyer advised that it would be best to re-apply for parentage & non-removal orders through the Supreme Court of Canada (rather than the Provincial courts), mainly because a Supreme Court order carried more weight & would be easier to enforce. On that advice, we began the process for our case to be heard in front of a Supreme Court Judge.

Contact & Skype time between Kaydance & I had been ongoing since the separation, but court was adjourned & put off month after month for reasons beyond my control. At least I was getting to see Kaydance on a regular basis, so I persevered, believing that once a judge heard this case, things would work out to the satisfaction of all.

In the meantime, there were other processes & proceedings ongoing building up to a divorce hearing, which was scheduled for October of 2016.

September 2015, First Mediation....

Unsuccessful.

Shortly after the session, Lauren told me that she & Marco had gotten engaged. 

November 2015, Second Mediation....

Unsuccessful.

We began that mediation with Lauren's lawyer informing me that Lauren was pregnant with Marco's baby.

After a moment to digest this news, mediation began. I soon ended the meeting when the Mediator suggested that I should be satisfied just to be viewed as Kaydances' aunt (as Lauren & her lawyer proposed).

Early in 2016, Lauren's lawyer requested that she be allowed to renew her British Passport, as it was about to expire; the judge granted that request, & Lauren's passport was returned to her, on the condition that it was to be returned to her lawyer's safe upon renewal.

 I assumed that Lauren's lawyer, since this was a court order, would ensure that the passport was indeed returned to his safe - trusting that to happen was a critical error on my part. 

In February of 2016, I secured a teaching position in Victoria & moved there to be closer to Kaydance & better enjoy my time with her.

April 5, 2016: Lauren gave birth to a boy, whom she named Marcus Etchells. Marco had flown to Canada for the birth... the happy pair shared their joy with me by bringing baby Marcus to our next court hearing.

April 20, 2016: The judge ordered increased access time for Kaydance & I, which was to progress to overnight visits in my apartment.

April 21, 2016: Lauren applied for a Canadian passport for Kaydance, in direct violation of the court order. Obviously, I did not know of this deceit until it was too late. To my knowledge, Kaydance (at that point) had only a British passport, which was safely locked up in my lawyer's care, so I felt secure in that fact.

April 26, 2016: Lauren granted Power of Attorney to her mother, Angela Etchells, & her sister, Shannon Trowsdale.

May 8, 2016: Lauren abducts Kaydance & flies to England along with Marco & Marcus. Of course, I had no idea.

May 9,2016: During my 5:30 scheduled Skype visit with Kaydance, I asked Lauren why she was in her pj's already. Lauren explained that Kaydance had just had a bath & that she didn't feel like changing her clothes a second time. I also wondered why Lauren's Skype time stamp was reading 1:30am, but I brushed it off as a Skype glitch & didn't question Lauren about it. Looking back, I wish that I had.

May 13, 2016: Lauren missed my 5:30 scheduled Skype visit with Kaydance. The alarm bells were ringing in my head again... but... no... maybe they are out... maybe she forgot... It couldn't be what I was really worrying - after all, the passports are all locked up with the lawyers. I told myself that I was just being paranoid; I would see Kaydance the next morning for my weekend visit time.

May 14, 2016: Lauren did not drop Kaydance off at my apartment for our visit. Sickened, I drove to Brian & Angela's house where they told me that Lauren & Kaydance were not there, & that they couldn't tell me where they were. I left Lauren's parents' place in a mess &, after filing a police report, I drove to Nanaimo to be with my family.

Although my daughter's abduction could not be confirmed by the police at that point... I knew. I knew by the look in my father-in-law's eyes & the shakiness of his voice that Lauren had stolen our child away from me. Kaydance was gone.

May 16, 2016: A letter (written by Lauren confirming that she had taken Kaydance & fled from Canada) is presented to the Court. The Judge issues an apprehension order for Kaydance to be brought into my custody.

May 17, 2016: I was taken by ambulance to hospital with heart issues that were diagnosed as stress induced cardiomyopathy, also known as 'broken heart syndrome', which mimics all the symptoms & all the physical pain of a heart attack. I was forced to take medical leave for the next month.

Life became a blur after that. Police. Emails. Department of Justice. Reports. Consulates. Doctors. Counsellors. Lawyers. Court. Repeat...

May 24, 2016: A Supreme Court Judge reinstated my parentage & I was once again legally recognized as Kaydance's parent.

Now I travel a path unknown, in search of Kaydance. I am doing all that I can, but it's a daunting road ahead. The twists along the way continue to challenge; the pain & worry can feel unbearable... but I have no choice but to bear it. Thankfully, I am not alone. I've been blessed with support from all corners - not just my family & loved ones, but support from people all over the world who have learned my story, & who are always watching out in case they should see Kaydance or Lauren, somewhere out there. 

The investigation into Kaydance's abduction is ongoing &, in addition to trans-national courts systems & police departments, there are a number of other organizations & agencies involved. My story, WITWIK, has been highlighted by media around the world; coverage is continuing in hopes that someone, somewhere, might be able to help find Kaydance & bring her home.

We know that Lauren has been in England, France, Spain, & is now most likely hiding somewhere in Europe. Lauren's ultimate goal is to take Kaydance into the Middle East (Marco attempted to sponsor her & the children, claiming them to be his family, but was denied). If Lauren were to succeed in smuggling Kaydance into the Middle East, all could be lost because they are not members of the Hague Abduction Convention (a treaty whose "purposes are to protect from the harmful affects of international abduction by a parent by encouraging the prompt return of abducted children to their country of habitual residence, and to organize or secure effective rights of access to a child. Custody & visitation matters should be decided by the proper court of the country of the child's habitual residence").

It is my hope that, by sharing my story, I may  just be one of the lucky parents who is actually reunited with their abducted child. 

I know it's a longshot, but every now & then, against all odds, the longshot wins.

Please, I appeal to you, tweet WITWIK, share WITWIK everywhere that you can on social media, mention WhereInTheWorldIsKaydance on your blogs, over coffee at your workplace, get #WITWIK  more prominently positioned in the public eye, get it trending... I'm begging you.

Please help me find my daughter, Kaydance, & bring her home.

From the bottom of my heart to all the people - family & friends, loved ones & strangers alike - who have been supportive of Kaydance & I, & who have helped to share my story with the world... I can never Thank You enough for all you've done, for not losing faith, for helping me shoulder this burden.... this would break me if it were not for you - Thank you so much. 

Kaydance, My Love

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Kaydance Paige Etchells

DOB: Sept 26, 2014

Born in Edmonton, Alberta

Blonde hair & Blue eyes

Abducted from Vancouver Island home on May 8, 2016

$10K Reward

Offering a $10,000 Cash Reward for information leading to Kaydance's return to Canada.

My Wife, the Abductor

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Lauren Ann Etchells

International Fugitive from Justice!

DOB: 09/21/1985

5'3" tall & 125-140 pounds

Hazel Eyes

Pierced ears & bellybutton

Dual British/Canadian Citizen

*Believed to be hiding out in Europe

The Accomplices

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Contact the Authorities

Any sighting or suspected sighting of Kaydance... Or of the wanted fugitive, Lauren Ann Etchells... Or of any one of her accomplices anywhere at all  should be reported at once to the proper authorities. If you have any information at all about any of the people involved in this case, I urge you to please, please contact someone, whether it be the authorities or me.

Do NOT approach these people on your own, PLEASE! If Lauren or her accomplices suspect that they have been sighted, Lauren may take Kaydance & bolt to evade capture.

A reported sighting or information could quite possibly lead to Kaydance's return to Canada, & payment of the $10,0000 cash reward.

If you wish to contact me directly, please use the convenient form on the CONTACT page.

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 My Deepest Gratitude to Linkers.  ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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