Canadian mother reunited with son kidnapped as toddler nearly 31 years ago
Lyneth Mann-Lewis saw her son abducted by his father in 1987 and spent the last three decades looking for him. Now, she's gotten the reunion she's longed for all these years.
A Toronto-area woman who was separated from her son when he was just two-years-old in 1987 was finally reunited with him over 30 years later. Lyneth Mann-Lewis could do little to hold back her joy as she revealed how their reunion unfolded at a press conference this past Monday.
According to CTV News, Lyneth is the mother of Jermaine Mann, who authorities say was abducted by his father from the former's home during his court-ordered visit. The father, Allan Mann Jr., then fled across the border and began living under the assumed name of Hailee Randolph DSouza.
The father also faked a Texas birth certificate for his son, whose fake name was not revealed by the authorities out of respect for his privacy. Once officials in Texas confirmed the birth certificate was faked, investigators began piecing together the evidence and uncovered his true identity.
Toronto police Detective Sergeant Wayne Banks said Allan had led a "life of lies." Allan and his son were found living in Vernon, Connecticut. Jermaine, unaware of how he had ended up living in America, had reportedly been lied to about his mother. Allan told his son Lyneth had died shortly after his birth. Lyneth was notified of the development that her son had been located, on October 25, and just two days later, she was on a flight that would take her to see her now 33-year-old son for the first time since he was a toddler.
"The words ‘Your son is alive; we’ve found him’ – that is breathtaking," she said. When she finally saw him, she said she "grabbed him and I squeezed his head. I wanted to feel if he [was] real. I touched him and said ‘Oh my god, my baby.'"
"He said ‘Oh, Mommy, you have my eyes.’ He hugged me and he kissed me, and we held there for a long time," she continued. It wasn't just the eyes they had in common either. It turned out, mother and son also have similar tastes in music, and soon enough, Lyneth was insisting she feed her son with a homecooked meal.
The mother said she went to a supermarket and purchased enough chicken and vegetables for a feast, only to find out that her son doesn't like eating meat. But for his mother, Jermaine made an exception. "He said ‘You know what Mommy, cook the chicken, I’m going to eat the chicken,'" she exclaimed at the press conference. "He ate every living piece off that plate."
She also put in a special word of thanks to the Missing Children Society of Canada for helping keep the investigation into her son's disappearance alive for over three decades. "I want to encourage other families with missing children and loved ones not to ever, ever give up hope on finding them," she said. "I am the proof that after 31 long years of suffering – 31 long years – one should never give up."
As for Allan, he was taken into custody by the authorities and is now facing charges of making false statements in the U.S. Canadian authorities also want to extradite him so he can answer to one count of abduction in the country. Lyneth said she wanted to keep her thoughts about the father to herself but said, "I just thought it was sad for him to have done what he did. You never take a child from its parent, no matter what."