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Whitefish resident spotted missing boy and father in car and called police
A resident of Whitefish, Montana, recognised the car belonging to Robert Barnett, the man who was believed to have abducted his son from Fernie, and contacted police.
The U.S. resident had seen the Amber Alert that had been issued the day before, then noticed a car matching the description parked in a sidestreet of the town, an hour south of the Roosville border, at around 7 this morning.
The 39-year-old man and son, three-year-old Alvin Barnett, were sitting inside the car.
Whitefish police arrested the man and took Alvin into care. Alvin will be returned to his family in Fernie today. Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, Senior Media Relations Officer at the RCMP, said the child is in good health.
"He was tired, and hungry, but in generally good spirits and not hurt," he said.
He said that Barnett had been able to cross into the US before the authorities were aware the child was missing.
"American authorities stated that the car had crossed into the US at 3:15 p.m. which was the same time the child was reported missing," he said.
Moskaluk said the Amber Alert was issued because the situation met all the criteria, and they believed the child was in imminent danger.
He could not say what involvement with the police Barnett has had in the past, or why he was only able to have supervised visits with his child.
He also could not say how Barnett and Alvin were able to leave the room of the hotel where he was having a supervised visit, and leave in his car.
An Amber Alert was issued yesterday (Thursday) at 4 p.m. after the boy was abducted from Fernie. Alvin was taken from Fernie, following a supervised visit with Barnett, at a Fernie hotel. Police were notified that the pair were missing after they failed to return to the room.
They travelled into the United States via the Roosville crossing in a 2002 blue Subaru Outback with B.C. licence 347SB.
An Amber Alert is intended only for the most serious, time-critical child abduction cases. It is not intended for cases involving parental abductions, except in life-threatening situations.
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