Mother reunites with son after abduction 31 years earlier

HANDOUT  Missing Children Society of Canada

A Canadian mom was reunited with her long-lost son over the weekend - 31 years after he was allegedly kidnapped by her ex husband.

Allan Mann Jr. allegedly took 21-month-old Jermaine to the US, with authorities alleging he obtained bogus documentation, including false birth certificates from Texas.

He and his father lived under assumed names in the USA until late last week, when his father was caught allegedly using falsified documents.

Mann-Lewis admitted that she had "endured many hard days" as she survived the last three decades. Jermaine had been told his mother died shortly after his birth.

Lyneth Mann-Lewis found out last week that authorities had found her son, Jermaine Mann, in the United States.

Mr Mann appeared briefly in the federal court in Hartford, facing charges of making false statements in transactions with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He also faces extradition to Canada on an abduction charge on completion of his prosecution south of the border.

Once she got there, she said, she was able to revel in the reality of touching her son again, adding he seemed quick to make connections of his own.

They spoke for hours, she said, and she made sure to cook him a meal before she flew back to Canada.

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"Believe that all things are possible", she told reporters who gathered for an emotional news conference at Toronto police headquarters. Jermaine Mann was less than two years old at the time.

Jermaine Mann, now 33, had been living with his father in the Vernon, Connecticut, under a false name. "I said 'Oh my God, my baby, '" she said.

She had praise for officials who waded through hundreds of tips and interviews over the years, as well as for Mann-Lewis and her relatives. "We found him.' That is breathtaking", she said.

And in 2018, the forensic specialist has compared an old photo of Allan with a photo of the driver's license, issued to one Haile the DeSouza in CT, and suspected that one and the same person.

At a Toronto press conference, Ms Mann-Lewis broke down in tears as she described the ordeal.

The investigation has involved multiple U.S. agencies, including HUD, the U.S. Marshals, the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, as well as the Toronto Police Service and the RCMP.

Among them was the Missing Children Society of Canada. He and Ms Mann-Lewis had separated the year before.

Amanda Pick of the Missing Children Society said the reunion marks the culmination of a case that preoccupied investigators for decades. "I am the proof that after 31 long years of suffering one should never give up", she was quoted as saying by CBC News.

The local paper reported that Jermaine sobbed quietly in the front row with his head in his hands.

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