Supporters hold rally at first court appearance for Saskatoon mother accused of faking death, abducting child

A Saskatoon woman facing parental abduction and public mischief charges after allegedly crossing into the United States illegally made her first Canadian court appearance Monday morning.

The woman disappeared in late July along with her seven-year-old child. CBC News is not naming her due to a publication ban on information that could identify her child.

Her truck and other personal belongings were found at Chief Whitecap Park, near the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon, on July 25. Police and community members searched extensively for the mother and son.

But the woman and her child were found safe in Oregon City, Ore., on Aug. 5 and she was arrested. The child was brought back to Saskatoon by a legal guardian shortly afterward.

Before her first court appearance on Monday, supporters held a rally in front of court. They held signs of support and shared songs. They also restated their beliefs that the woman should be released on bail.

Crown prosecutor Tyla Olenchuk said Monday that the Crown opposes the woman’s release. She said she will explain why at a bail hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon. The hearing is expected to last hours.

The woman’s family and friends were not happy that the Crown is opposed to her release.

“We’re really disappointed and upset and angry at the way that the Crown prosecutor is treating our sister,” said the accused’s sister after the court appearance. “She’s not a danger to society, she’s an Indigenous woman. She’s a mother that wants to be with her son.”


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