We are learning more about a child abduction that began in New Westminster and ended in Bellingham with an Amber alert the arrest of a distraught mom.
In an exclusive interview with Global News, both of the nine-year-old girl’s parents say they are worried about their daughter’s deteriorating health in foster care.
Wilma Estrada says that’s why she fled to the U.S., to seek asylum.
“We want our daughter back,” she said.
“I just want her to be safe, no more of that mental torture there.”
Her ex-husband Mark Weber called the move courageous and says despite their nasty split, which led to their only daughter being put into foster care, they are good people.
“Wilma has never drank alcohol in her life, I’m a very mild drinker and I don’t use drugs, we are not violent people and there’s no criminal history.”
Weber posted bail for his ex and calls her move “brave.”
Estrada is set to appear in court in Bellingham on February 3, charged with custodial interference.
She could face five years in prison.
“Removing a child from a parent’s care is always a last resort”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, in an email to Global News, says that due to privacy laws, they can’t comment on the case.
“Where there are protection concerns, the ministry conducts an assessment and works to assure the safety and well-being of the child. If the assessment determines that a child can’t safely live with the parent, then a decision may be made to place the child in foster care.”
The Ministry says that removing a child from a parent’s care is always a last resort and is only done to reduce risk to the child if no other alternatives are available.
The statement says the goal is to return a child to their family, but only when it’s safe to do so.
WATCH: Global BC’s Aaron MacArthur speaks with the family of the girl at the centre of this week’s Amber alert