South Shields mum at centre of international police hunt after 'abducting' daughter

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A South Shields woman is at the centre of an international police hunt after 'abducting' their daughter after fleeing their home in Canada.

Police in North America are searching for Lauren Etchells and her daughter Kaydance, 19 months, after she fled the country.

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

The 31-year-old, who left South Shields as a teenager to move to Qatar, married her partner Tasha Brown in August 2012 and now holds dual UK/Canadian citizenship.

In 2013 the couple decided to have a child and went through a donor process before their daughter Kaydance Etchells was born in September 2014.

The pair separated in July 2015. Kaydance was living with Lauren but was the subject of custody proceedings betwee the pair. In August 2015, as part of a court order, Lauren was told to surreder Kaydance's UK passport, not to apply for a Canadian passport for the child and not to leave Vancouver Island, on the country's west coast.

But back in April, Lauren went against the order and obtained a Canadian passport for her daughter.

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

In May, Lauren and Kaydance, along with Lauren's new partner Marco van der Merwe and their new-born child Marcus, flew from Vancouver to London Gatwick.

Lauren's estranged wife Tasha contacted Saanich Police Major Crime Unit in Canada in a bid to trace them.

Canadian detecives, working with Interpol, have established that Lauren, Kaydance and Marcus travelled from England to France on passports issued in the UK. None have been seen since late May.

Tasha regularly posts updates about on the Facebook page Where in the World is Kaydance?

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

On September 28, she said: "Every day I wonder where you are, and if you are all right. I wonder if you are walking more, talking more, laughing or crying."How much habe you grown? What have you learned?

"If I had one birthday wish for Kaydance, it would be that you be found and brought back to Canada."

A spokesman for Saanich Police said: "On May 19, 2016 Saanich Police requested a warrant for Lauren’s arrest and on June 8, 2016 a Canada Wide Warrant was issued for the arrest of 31 year old Lauren Ann Etchells. Since this time Saanich Police Detectives have continued to work closely with our partner agencies in an attempt to locate Kaydance and bring her home safely.

"We are asking for anyone who may have any information to come forward and help. This may include family, friends, neighbours of the family, new or old business associates, anyone who may have been on the same flight as them to England or anyone else that may be able to provide any assistance. "

Anyone with any information about Kaydance’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Saanich Police Information Line 1(888)980-1919 or Canadian Centre for Child Protection 1(866)-543-8477

To remain anonymous please contact Crimestoppers 1(800)222-TIPS(8477)