By Annalee Grant
Details emerged yesterday in the case of Randall Hopley, who has pleaded guilty to the abduction of three year old Kienan Hebert.
Hopley was in Cranbrook Supreme Court yesterday for sentencing.
The Crown, represented by Lynal Doerksen, delivered the statement of facts. Doerksen indicated he will be seeking dangerous or long term offender status for Hopley.
Court heard the circumstances surrounding the Hebert family’s discovery that Kienan was missing, and what led police to the Crowsnest Pass Bible Camp where Hopley was eventually located.
On Sept. 7, father Paul Hebert reported his son missing in the morning. Kienan had last been seen at 11 p.m. the previous evening.
The RCMP arrived shortly after and observed the distance between the Hebert home and Hopley’s, who had been released from prison in the past few weeks.
Hopley had been spotted in the children’s section of the Cranbrook Walmart recently.
Kienan’s mother told police she had heard a loud noise like a toy hitting a surface in the middle of the night, but had assumed it was one of her children.
Swabs taken from the door revealed fingerprints but none were viable. Instead police located footprints around the home with a distinct waffle pattern.
Similar footprints were later found at a neighbouring home and at the Crowsnest Pass Bible Camp and a pair of slippers were located in a building adjacent to the camp matching the pattern.
The search involved many RCMP officers, local residents, the Cranbrook RCMP dog team, a military helicopter and over 400 tips were received from the public.
An Amber Alert was issued on Sept. 7 and Hopley was identified as the suspect that evening.
A witness reported seeing a boy described as “a carrot top with white skin” being carried by a man near Mitchell Creek Road at 6:50 a.m. The witness could not describe the man but said the boy was wearing a coat.
In the early hours of Sept. 11, a 911 call was received. The unknown caller advised that Kienan Hebert had been returned to his home. When the dispatcher asked for the caller’s name, he became upset and said, “Doesn’t matter. He’s returned home, okay?”
The caller was later identified as Hopley by his mother, Margaret Fink, who became upset when the RCMP played the recording for her.
In court, Hopley bowed his head as the call was played.
He told Cranbrook Supreme Court he was worried someone else would abduct Kienan Hebert if he were to leave him in public.
Hopley described in a video taped statement in court Wednesday, dropping off the three year old boy at his Sparwood home.
He told Sgt. Peter Tewfik in the interview that he “packed” the kid on his back for 25 to 30 minutes before returning him to the empty Hebert home.
Tewfik said RCMP were happy to have the boy safe.
“We were all shocked that you put him back,” Tewfik said.
Hopley said he would have waited if he had seen any police in the area.he noticed there was no vehicles in the driveway and he made sure he back door was locked before he left Kienan in the home.
When asked if he had seen Paul Herbert’s plea to return Kienan to a safe well-lit public place, Hopley expressed his worry for the child.
“Let somebody else kidnap him?” He asked.
Hopley described the makeshift home in the Crowsnest Pass Bible Camp where he cooked scrambled eggs which Kienan apparently gobbled up.
Hopley said he heard Paul Hebert say thank you for bringing his son back on the news from the Bible Camp.