Victoria police say they are working with international partners to find a man who allegedly abducted his autistic daughter before leaving her with relatives in Indonesia.
Police were alerted to the child custody matter on July 8. According to VicPD, Brent Erskine took his four-year-old daughter to Vancouver on June 30, as part of a seven-day vacation agreement between Erskine and the girl’s mother, Agustina Wulandari. Wulandari and Erskine are no longer together.
Samantha was supposed to return to Victoria and her mother a week after July 8. Wulandari contacted police after she became concerned when communication between her and Erskine changed, police said.
Police discovered Erskine travelled with Samantha to Jakarta, Indonesia. VicPD said through efforts of family and police, Samantha was dropped off with her maternal grandparents in Indonesia. Global Affairs Canada is working with Indonesia officials to bring Samantha back to Canada.
Police said after Samantha was left with relatives, Erskine then went to Singapore to get a Visa and his current whereabouts are not known.
On July 24, Crown Counsel approved criminal charges against Erskine for abduction in contravention of custody order and disobeying a court order. Erskine is wanted on an unendorsed warrant for the charges.
Wulandari was emotional during a news conference on Thursday when she described talking to Samantha on the phone.
“I remember the last time I spoke with her it was two days ago. She was crying and saying ‘I want mommy,'” Wulandari said.
She also said while her daughter is with her extended family, she has autism and needs special care.
“She’s a bit difficult to handle because she needs me and I miss her so much,” Wulandari said while crying.
“She’s my blood, and heaven, she’s my blessing. I really, really want her to come back to me. I really miss my daughter.”
VicPD is urging Erskine to seek out a Canadian embassy in order to turn himself in. Global Affairs Canada and Interpol are also working on finding Erskine.