Amber Alert cancelled after eight-year-old found safe in Calgary, mother charged – Edmonton Journal

Amber Alert cancelled after eight-year-old found safe in Calgary, mother charged - Edmonton Journal
Amber Alert cancelled for eight-year-old Edmonton boy
A woman is charged with abduction of her son after city police cancelled an Amber Alert issued Friday night for an eight-year-old Edmonton boy found safe near Calgary Saturday.

The boy was taken from Waverley Elementary School around 2:50 p.m. Friday, police said in the alert sent out shortly after 9:40 p.m. Friday.

Edmonton police tweeted early Saturday that the eight-year-old was found unharmed near Okotoks — just south of Calgary — about 5:30 a.m. MT.

Amber Alert for Edmonton boy cancelled after child found safe

Police learned early in the investigation the boy was the subject of a parenting order and his mother wasn’t supposed to have custody of the child, southeast division Staff Sgt. Ashley Emerson said Saturday afternoon during a media availability.

An off-duty Calgary police officer spotted the boy and his mother while driving. The mother was arrested by RCMP. 

Amber Alert Called Off, Okotoks RCMP Make Arrest

After gathering additional information to confirm the boy was taken by his mother, Emerson said police were satisfied that the criteria had been met to issue the province-wide alert.

“We considered the Amber Alert early, but we just didn’t believe we were there yet,” Emerson said of the seven-hour time gap between the abduction and the alert being issued. “We found additional information that we were satisfied the child was in danger and that’s when the decision was made.”

In an update issued at 11:40 p.m. Friday, police said the woman and child were believed to be in the Calgary area, and switched vehicles to a 2002 Buick Century. The second vehicle belonged to a family member, Emerson said, and police received the information quickly and were able to send out an update with the new licence plate.

The Edmonton police child protection section took over the investigation around 4:30 a.m. and warrants were issued for the mother’s arrest, Emerson said.

At 5:30 a.m. Saturday, police cancelled the Amber Alert, saying the child and his mother were found near Calgary. The boy was unharmed, said police.

An off-duty Calgary Police Service member spotted the boy and his mother while driving, having recognized the licence plate from the updated alert, Emerson said. The officer contacted police and Okotoks RCMP responded and conducted a vehicle stop.

Brianne Hjalte is charged with abducting her eight-year-old son. Edmonton Police Service / Supplied

Police in the Amber Alert said they believed the boy was in “imminent danger,” which Emerson explained was due to concern for both the well-being of the child and Hjalte.

The boy wasn’t picked up from the school “in a normal fashion,” said Emerson, leaving without a jacket and his outdoor shoes. He also noted there was “a marked change in the communication from the suspect.”

Emerson said several tips were received from the public — including the final piece of information from the off-duty police officer.

“We were able to safely recover this eight-year-old because of this system so we’re very happy to have it and I believe the majority of citizens are more than happy to assist us in those investigations.”

Edmonton police have cancelled an Amber Alert for an eight-year-old boy who they said was allegedly abducted by his mother on Friday afternoon.

In an update on Saturday morning, police said the boy and his mother were located in Okotoks, AB, about 45 kilometres south of Calgary on Saturday morning.

An off-duty officer spotted the child and his mother. Local RCMP members responded and took the woman into custody.

The Amber Alert was initially issued on Friday evening after police said he was taken from his school at approximately 2:50 p.m.