Monday, March 8, 2010

MISSING CHILDREN : Canadian CBC News Radio One International Child Abduction Alexander Christopher Watkins

NEWS UPDATE & INTERVIEW

MARCH 8, 2010
CBC Radio One 99.1 FM - CBC
Reported by Karen Horsman - Here and Now
Reported on March 8, 2010 at 5:50 p.m. E.S.T.

(Radio Transcript from CBC Radio One 99.1 FM - Here and Now)

COMING SOON!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thank you for REPOSTING these Missing Abducted Children on other networking sites so that they may be found.

The children are flagged on Interpol with world wide YELLOW NOTICES for information on their whereabouts.

Alexander WATKINS and Christopher WATKINS have still NOT been located in Poland, Germany or Austria and Europe.

If seen, immediately call your local Emergency Telephone Number (i.e. # 9-9-7 in Poland) and contact either to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at mcr.nps@bellnet.ca (RCMP2009247848) in Canada or INTERPOL internationally e-mail: FORM (F-159/4-2009) 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

CHILDREN MISSING FOR ONE YEAR - Mother wanted for abduction, boys believed to be in Poland

Featured in the TORONTO STAR & THESTAR.COM online
Stephen Watkins, silhouetted in the background, and his two sons, Alexander, 8, and Christopher, 5. The boys were abducted by Watkins' estranged wife; police believe they are now in Poland.


MARCH 7, 2010
THE TORONTO STAR & THESTAR.com
Reported by Katie Daubs
Photo by Carlos Osorio (Tadeusz (Ted) Ustaszewski)
Photo by Rene Johnston (Stephen Watkins & Home) 


The Polish lessons didn’t bother Stephen Watkins. Sure, they made him a little uneasy, but he couldn’t object to his children learning their mother’s native language.
When they didn’t show up for school one day last March, it was painfully clear the Polish lessons weren’t cultural enrichment.
Watkins’ nightmare, the culmination of a toxic separation and years-long custody battle became real. His estranged wife Edyta had taken Christopher, then 4, and Alexander, then 7, out of the country on her court-ordered weekend access.

Police confirmed the boys had crossed into New York state with their grandfather and mother on March 8 and later boarded a flight to Germany. 
PHOTO RIGHT - Ted Ustaszewski, 75, was charged with aiding and abetting an abduction after he allegedly drove his daughter and grandsons to the U.S. a year ago; they flew to Germany from there.
One year later, Stephen Watkins’ life is on hold. Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries pass without news. As he searches for answers, the 38-year old treads a fine line. He does not want to blame the government that is actively searching for his children, but he wants to make sure it doesn’t happen to another family.

Stephen Watkins' two sons were abducted by his estranged wife. Police believe they are in Poland. Watkins had custody, and tried to prevent the abduction. Completely consumed with the search for his boys, Watkins marks the one-year-anniversary of their disappearance this weekend.

Those close to the investigation say the mother of his children was a force to be reckoned with, a woman no system could stop.
Her name is Edyta Watkins. Her whereabouts are unknown, although York Regional Police believe she is in Poland, the place of her birth.
Edyta Watkins moved to Canada as a child. She holds dual citizenship, can speak Polish, German, English and French, and goes by many names — Alexandra, Edith, and Edyta. There is currently a Canada-wide warrant for her arrest, and an Interpol red notice, advising other countries the warrant exists.
Her father Tadeusz (Ted) Ustaszewski, 75, faces charges for aiding and abetting the abduction. He declined to speak with the TheStar.
Ustaszewski has told police he was unaware of his daughter’s plans.
“He’s got his objectives,” Det. Const. Jesse Mann said. “As far as he’s concerned, he’s doing right by his daughter.”
Poland does not have an extradition treaty with Canada, but it is a party to the Hague Convention, which is an international agreement to expedite the process of returning abducted children. For the convention to work, Alexander and Christopher have to be located.
The search has been slow. Tips are passed on, but they have amounted to nothing. In January, Polish courts ordered a countrywide search, but Mann said he has no counterpart investigator in Poland.
“I don’t know how engaged they are to dig any further,” he said.
To understand the abduction, you have to go back to the beginning of an acrimonious union.
Stephen Watkins met Edyta Ustaszewski in 1996, when she was dating a friend of his. When they split, Watkins and Ustaszewski began dating in 1998. Edyta was a background actor in commercials, TV and film, and he worked on the production side. He can’t remember the reason he was attracted to her. But they had common interests, he said.
They married in 2001 and had two children, but it was far from suburban bliss. When the pair separated three and a half years later, they were awarded joint custody, although the children stayed primarily with their mother.
Watkins says that arrangement didn’t work. He was routinely in court fighting for his weekend access. Court records show both parents made allegations of abuse against each other.
In a final court order in January 2009, Watkins was granted custody. Edyta was granted access every second weekend.
“The father ought not to take this choice as a victory for him,” Justice Geraldine Waldman wrote in her 19-page decision. “The real issue is the parental conflict which I attribute equally to both mother and father.”
Although a social worker testified Edyta was an “excellent mother,” Waldman was concerned that Edyta “allows her anger to become more important than acting in a child-focused manner.”
“Ms. Watkins is clearly the more volatile of the parents,” Waldman wrote. “She has strong opinions and is committed to them. She is unwilling to be cooperative as a strategy. She will not be pushed around.”
In her closing notes, Justice Waldman asked the parents to stop fighting.
“I would suggest that rather than funding further litigation, the families assist the parents in paying for a parenting coordinator to help these people problem-solve,” she wrote. “These children desperately need this conflict to end. I urge the parents to act appropriately.”
Although he was granted custody of his children, a few things bothered Watkins: He says Edyta claimed she didn’t have the children’s passports, and the boys spent much of their weekend visits with their mother taking Polish lessons.
And there was the issue of her address. Justice Waldman noted it was “unclear.”
“Ms. Watkins has been intentionally evasive and has chosen not to provide information concerning the purchase of that property for reasons which remain unclear. In fact, mother’s financial circumstances also remain unclear,” Waldman wrote.
Alone, each detail was irrelevant. Together, they were a harbinger of things to come.
“Can we come out and say ‘Mommy’s going to abduct you?’” Watkins asks, sitting in a food court surrounded by families. “Every kid has a mom and dad. We had to be careful not to paint her in a bad way. It’s hard to take the high road. We’ve done everything we could.”
While police believe the abduction was planned, those close to Edyta say they knew nothing.
Ania Danilkow says she was Edyta’s best friend before she got married. Danilkow last saw her a month before she vanished, when she was “trying to get her boys back.”
“(She) did everything she was asked to do,” Danilkow wrote in an email. “She is a good mother. Someone to look up to.”
Danilkow had no idea she was gone.
“No wonder she did not keep in touch.”
According to the RCMP, 300 children were abducted by a parent in 2008.
It’s not unusual for parents to contact the RCMP’s National Missing Children Services before an abduction happens. The RCMP advises parents to contact the passport office, go to the courts, and talk to their children.
Watkins tried all three.
While Passport Canada put his children on a watch list for the issuing of new passports, it wasn’t helpful.
The agency doesn’t involve itself in domestic disputes. Rather, it encourages parents to use the courts to retrieve passports.
Watkins’ lawyer Michael Chilco said Edyta didn’t obey multiple court orders to hand over the passports in the ongoing custody dispute. Chilco said a contempt motion brought against her fizzled out when she continued to adamantly claim she didn’t have them.
“She had fortitude,” Chilco said. “She was bold and unbelievable.”
Philip Epstein, a family lawyer who has handled numerous international abduction cases, was surprised a motion for contempt wasn’t upheld.
But people determined to abduct will “frequently be successful,” no matter the obstacle, Epstein said.
“For every mousetrap, there’s a smarter mouse,” he said.
As the man left behind pores over his court records and files, he is frustrated with the justice system. He knows his boys wouldn’t have made it to Europe without their passports. He is also upset that a final custody order was made when his ex-wife didn’t have an address.
“It does not make any sense that a final ruling would be issued without having basic contact information,” he said.
Watkins has a lot of time to think. He hasn’t worked as an irrigation consultant for a while. Before the abduction, he became a stay-at-home dad to focus on his children.
Watkins was adopted at birth into a loving family. He has since met his birth mother, but never his father.
“I vowed that I would never follow the footsteps of my biological father and I would always be a part of my sons’ lives,” he said.
Although she criticized both parents for the ongoing conflict, Justice Waldman commended Watkins’ efforts in parenting. “Mr. Watkins has taken active steps to improve his parenting and has worked hard at being a good father,” she wrote in the final judgment.
A banner on Stephen Watkins' home carries a message to his two missing sons, believed to be in Poland with his estranged wife. "So stay strong, my sons, and let the light guide you home...."
But less than two months after those words were written, his boys were gone. Since that day, Watkins swings from lows to highs. On his good days, he writes emails to politicians, scans the web for news, and updates the blog dedicated to finding his children. As soon as a person visits the site, an avatar of Watkins pops up in to tell his tale. When the video is finished, his eyes follow the cursor around the page.
Since his boys vanished, all that remains is suspended reality.
“You don’t sleep and you don’t eat,” he said. “I’m up all night.”
For more information or to share a lead, visit: http://www.Watkins-Missing-Children.com or contact York Regional Police at 1-905-895-1221
Read related story: Canadian border has no exit controls
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/776350--canadian-border-has-no-exit-controls

Canadian border has no exit controls “We’re not stopping people from leaving, we’re stopping them from coming in”

MARCH 7, 2010
THE TORONTO STAR & THESTAR.com
Reported by Katie Daubs

When Edyta Watkins, her father and her two children crossed into Niagara Falls, Edyta had the boys’ passports she had been ordered to return in court. She also had her own passport and driver’s licence, which were both suspended because she hadn’t made child support payments.
So why didn’t Canadian authorities stop Edyta Watkins at the border? Because there aren’t any controls on people leaving the country.
On the other side, U.S. border agents don’t have access to internal passport information, according to Joanne Ferreira, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As for the issues of the suspended driver’s licence and court orders not to take the boys out of the country, Ferreira couldn’t disclose for security reasons whether agents would have that information.
But Terry Smith, of Child Find Ontario, said Canada’s custody disputes shouldn’t be another country’s problem.
“If we actually had an exit policy for customs and immigration, she wouldn’t have got out,” Smith said. “We’re not stopping people from leaving, we’re stopping them from coming in.”
A spokeswoman for Canadian Border Services Agency said it would be a significant policy shift, but one that may be considered, after further analysis.
Last February, CBSA president Stephen Rigby told a parliamentary committee that a partnership between the U.S. and Canada was possible.
“We have had ongoing discussions with our colleagues to the south, in our sister agency in the United States, on the possibility of implementing a program that would basically see at the land border our entry system used as their exit system and vice versa,” Rigby said.
Terry Smith, of Child Find Ontario, isn’t holding her breath. She said parental abduction like the Watkins case doesn’t register as a “big concern” to the government “on the whole.”
“Only at certain levels. There’s this general feeling that the children are with a parent, so they’re not in danger,” she said.

Friday, March 5, 2010

NEWS UPDATE : MISSING CHILDREN Canadian International Child Abduction Alexander Christopher Watkins

NEWS UPDATE & INTERVIEW

MARCH 5, 2010
ROGERS TV - LOCAL FIRST NEWS
Reported by Brianne Thom

(Video Transcript from FIRST LOCAL NEWS Interview)

COMING SOON!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thank you for REPOSTING these Missing Abducted Children on other networking sites so that they may be found.

The children are flagged on Interpol with world wide YELLOW NOTICES for information on their whereabouts.

Alexander WATKINS and Christopher WATKINS have still NOT been located in Poland, Germany or Austria and Europe.

If seen, immediately call your local Emergency Telephone Number (i.e. # 9-9-7 in Poland) and contact either to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at mcr.nps@bellnet.ca (RCMP2009247848) in Canada or INTERPOL internationally e-mail: FORM (F-159/4-2009) 

Monday, March 1, 2010

MISSING CHILDREN : Canada News International Parental Child Abduction Alexander Christopher Watkins

NEWS UPDATE & INTERVIEW

FEBRUARY 11, 2010
'A' CHANNEL NEWS - CTVglobemedia
Reported by Jackie Crandles

(Video Transcript from 'A' CHANNEL NEWS Report)

News Anchor Jayne Pritchard announces:
A Newmarket father hasn’t seen his two sons for almost a year.

A Canada-wide warrant for the abduction of the boys has been issued against the boy’s mother.

But as the days grow in months and the months into years, Stephen Watkins worries he may never see the boys again.

Jackie Crandles spoke with him today:

Stephen Watkins says, “Since they have left, I have left everything the way that it was, Alexander sleeps here”

But these beds have haven’t been sleep in since last march, that’s the last time Stephen Watkins saw his two sons, 8 year old Alexander and 5 year old Christopher. These presents have been left unopened.

Mr. Watkins explains, “And the presents were given to the boys on their birthday, Christopher’s birthday was April 1st.”     

The last time Watkins saw his sons was when they left for what was suppose to be a weekend visit with his ex-wife.

Mr. Watkins explains, “The Monday I got a call from the school saying that the kids haven’t arrived”

Police believe the boys Mother, Edyta Watkins Ustaszewski, took them across the US border with the help of her father, who has been charged with “Aiding and Abetting” an abduction.  Police believe she then took the boys to Poland where she was born.

York Regional Police has issued a national warrant for her arrest.

Mr. Watkins says, “We can’t imagine what they are going through right now, they are physically on the run, if they are being hidden, they are on the run, that’s not a life to live, for any child” 

Terry Smith is the assistant director of CHILD FIND ONTARIO she says progress in international parental abductions cases can be painstakingly slow.

Terry Smith says, “You have to deal with international Police service, Interpol, you end up dealing with the Justice department, law enforcement in the other country etc, etc… So it can be long and painstaking unfortunately because every level has their Job to do.”

After 11 months the Polish Courts have finally ordered the Police there to begin searching for the boys. It’s a small piece of good news that may finally lead to their whereabouts. Until that news comes, their dad can only wait.

Mr. Watkins says, “It would mean the world to me if everyone could help me find the children, Alexander and Christopher Watkins and bring them home, back home to Canada. They are my world.”

The boys Grandfather is scheduled to make his second appearance in a Newmarket court on February 24th, Lance.    

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thank you for REPOSTING these Missing Abducted Children on other networking sites so that they may be found.

The children are flagged on Interpol with world wide YELLOW NOTICES for information on their whereabouts.

Alexander WATKINS and Christopher WATKINS have still NOT been located in Poland, Germany or Austria and Europe.

If seen, immediately call your local Emergency Telephone Number (i.e. # 9-9-7 in Poland) and contact either to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at mcr.nps@bellnet.ca (RCMP2009247848) in Canada or INTERPOL internationally e-mail: FORM (F-159/4-2009) 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ojciec szuka dzieci - Father is looking for children

ITAKA - Centrum Poszukiwań Ludzi Zaginionych
Zaginionych Dzieci Polska

26.02.2010
Ojciec szuka dzieci
http://www.rp.pl/artykul/439794.html
6 marca 2009 r. ośmioletni Alexander Watkins zaginął w Toronto wraz ze swoim pięcioletnim bratem Christopherem Watkinsem. Wiemy, że dzieci wylądowały na lotnisku we Frankfurcie wraz ze swoją matką. Istnieje duże prawdopodobieństwo, że przebywają w Polsce, ponieważ matka chłopców jest Polką

Szuka ich ojciec, który nie ma o nich żadnej wiadomości.

Ktokolwiek widział Alexandra lub Christophera Watkinsa lub ma jakiekolwiek informacje o ich losie proszony jest o kontakt z ITAKĄ - Centrum Poszukiwań Ludzi Zaginionych pod całodobowym bezpłatnym Telefonem w Sprawie Zaginionego Dziecka – 116 000. Można również napisać w tej sprawie do ITAKI: biuro@zaginieni.pl. Naszym informatorom gwarantujemy dyskrecję.

Zdjęcia braci Watkins oraz innych zaginionych: www.zaginieni.pl
materiały prasowe

WATKINS, Alexander
Z KANADY.
ZAGINAŁ
6.03.2009 R.
MA 8 LAT.
MOŻE PRZEBYWAĆ
W POLSCE

WATKINS, Christopher
Z KANADY.
ZAGINAŁ
6.03.2009 R.
MA 5 LAT.
MOŻE PRZEBYWAĆ
W POLSCE







< < < ENGLISH TRANSLATION > > >


ITAKA - Center for Missing People in Poland
Missing Children Poland

26.02.2010
Father is looking for children
http://www.rp.pl/artykul/439794.html
6 March 2009 Alexander Watkins Missing at (8 years) eight years old from Toronto along with his five year old (5 years) brother Christopher Watkins. We know that children landed at Frankfurt Airport with his mother. There is a strong likelihood that they are staying in Poland because the boys mother is Polish

Looking for their father, who does not have any news about them.

Anyone who saw Alexandra and Christopher Watkins, or has any information about their fate is asked to contact the ITAKA - Center for Missing People on the phone all day free in Missing Child Case - 116 000. You can also write on this subject to Ithaca: biuro@zaginieni.pl. Our informants guarantee discretion.

Watkins Brothers Pictures and other missing: www.zaginieni.pl
press materials

WATKINS, Alexander
FROM CANADA
MISSING
6.03.2009 R.
8 YEARS OLD
MAY BE
IN POLAND



WATKINS, Christopher
FROM CANADA
MISSING
6.03.2009 R.
5 YEARS OLD
MAY BE
IN POLAND