Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/5/2012 (1437 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg mother will never forget how she learned details of the rescue of her two kidnapped children -- she read about it on a BlackBerry.
Details emerged on Monday about how Emily Cablek was told her children Dominic Maryk, 11, and Abby Maryk, 9, were discovered in Mexico after they were taken almost four years ago, allegedly by their father.
Police in Winnipeg alerted Cablek on Friday, and then went to her home and passed her the hand-held device displaying the tremendous news.
"I went to the door, I went inside, and some of the information on the arrest -- just that an arrest had been made, and the children had been recovered -- had been sent to me by investigators in Mexico on my BlackBerry. So I gave Emily my BlackBerry and had her read, line by line, the news," said Det. Sgt. Shaunna Neufeld of the Winnipeg Police Service missing persons unit.
"... Finally, after almost four years waiting to get her children home, that moment was actually there. Emily was overwhelmed with joy, and it was great to be a part of (it)."
Neufeld and Christy Dzikowicz, of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, both went to Mexico this weekend with Cablek to monitor the reunion.
Police described how a Winnipeg-made video distributed in Mexico was the tipping point that led to the children's recovery. Police said they began providing video to Mexican media outlets in the past months after getting "specific information" linking the missing children and their 40-year-old father, Kevin Maryk, to spots in the country.
"We were targeting local media, factories, trucking companies... and distributing these videos, along with photos," said Winnipeg police Insp. Gord Perrier, who oversees the missing persons unit. One of the videos was dubbed into Spanish.
A tipster who saw the children on television told officials last Thursday they were in Guadalajara. Detectives from Interpol Mexico's child recovery unit found them in a home surrounded by barbed wire, allegedly living among attack dogs, weapons, drugs and child pornography.
Maryk and Robert Neil Groen, 41, a friend from Winnipeg who police said had been living with Maryk at the house, were arrested and are in custody. Maryk faces a charge of abduction in contravention of a court order and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, police said. Groen faces a charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Cody McKay, a 23-year-old Winnipegger, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for his alleged role.
Police in Canada said Maryk had moved the children five times before they were found. Among the places the kids lived were Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, where they were eventually found, Neufeld said.
She called Maryk an "evil individual who didn't want to be found and did take steps to try and just ensure that his kids were never located."
It was one of Manitoba's most prominent missing-persons cases, with Cablek pleading publicly for help on repeated occasions.
Cablek had custody of Abby and Dominic but her husband never returned them from a court-sanctioned two-week holiday.
While Cablek wasn't at Monday's news conference, a statement from her was read to media.
"I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the wonderful support I received from the community over the past three years," Cablek said in the statement. "I want to thank the Winnipeg Police missing persons unit for their amazing persistence, and to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection for standing by me and guiding me through the worst 45 months of my life. You all helped me stay strong for the most important moment of my life, for that, you will always be in my heart, and a part of my family.
"I am the happiest Mummy in the world right now, and am asking please, give my family some privacy, so that we can begin to heal. We have a long road ahead, and I want my children to feel completely safe through all of it; they deserve nothing less."
Kevin Maryk is being held at a federal facility in a borough of Mexico City. Foreigners held at the 22-hectare building, built in 1978, typically share a room with two or three others, officials said.
-- With files from Geoff Kirbyson, Jen Skerritt and Mike McIntyre