IT was the most devastating call he took in a 30-year policing career: hearing a wanted man had slipped out of a Puerto Vallarta home with two abducted children.
News of the recovery of Dominic and Abby Maryk from a Guadalajara home last Friday brought elation to the children's long-suffering Winnipeg mother, Emily Cablek, as well as a range of officers who worked on the case for nearly four years before getting the kids back.
But that joy was a far cry from the frustration investigators in Winnipeg felt after an earlier attempt to arrest the children's father, Kevin Maryk, failed, only hours before they were to get on a flight to Mexico. Retired Winnipeg Police Service missing persons unit detective Clyde Raven, now a sergeant with the Victoria Beach Police, said learning Maryk had evaded police more than a year after their August 2008 abduction was one of the lowest moments of his career.
Shortly before an early-morning flight to Mexico where a takedown was planned with Mexican authorities, Raven said he got terrible news.
"My whole 30-year career, that was the most devastating call I ever got, that they had lost him," said Raven.
He said Maryk's rental home had been under surveillance in Mexico, but he managed to slip away in the night.
Authorities there were going to wait for officers from Winnipeg to arrive so the takedown could be done together, said Raven, but the moment never came.
"We still to this day don't know how, but he got wind of it and he was gone. He packed those kids up in the night," said Raven, adding a lot of the family's belongings were left behind.
"You can't believe how much that has haunted me since that day, because we were that close," said Raven.
Raven said he was particularly concerned about Maryk having the children, because police believed they could be at risk in his care.
Police have said Maryk made money by dealing drugs. On Friday, police seized drugs, weapons and child pornography at the home where the children were being kept.