Worst Thing For A Mother
The moment was finally here. She would get the answers that she was looking for. The truth was so close. Lyneth felt that what she had endured was something that no mother should ever have to. She had never thought that this would happen to her. She didn’t wish this on her worst enemy.
She got to the Connecticut Airport which was so far away from her hometown in Canada. She was at the airport and now she would have her answers. The anticipation was 31 years worth.
She Was Excited To See Him
Lyneth got to a dollar store in Islington Avenue, it was a hot day outside being June. She was going there to pick up her son from his father who said they’d meet her there at 4 in the afternoon. The year was 1987.
Jermaine’s parents separated when he was very young. Even with shared custody, he was overall a joyful boy without anything wrong with him. Lyneth’s world was always lit up when she saw her baby’s smile. But she didn’t know what would happen next.
She Had A Surprise That She Would Love
Since Jermaine was with his father Lyneth could do all the things that were harder with a child. She ran errands like grocery shopping.
She still thought about her child even when he was away, she saw a stuffed toy that reminded her of him. It was a cute lion plush with her boy’s brown eyes. She was happy at that moment but didn’t know what was to come.
She couldn’t help but stare at the clock. It was just past 4 p.m now. She then noticed that a family across the street were walking down the road, they were all happy together.
She noticed that the small boy on top of his father’s shoulders reminded her of Jermaine. She smiled at the family as they walked past. The time was now 4:09. As it kept getting further from their arranged pick up time, she began to feel a knot in her stomach.
Her Pulse Started Racing
It was now 4:20 and she could feel her pulse racing. Alan and Jermaine were nowhere to be seen and she started worrying over the welfare of her boy. She felt herself lose her balance and fall over, dropping the plush animal on the concrete.
When she realizes what happened she sprints to her car and gets in. She fumbles with her phone and calls the police and puts her car in gear, speeding off and leaving the cute fluffy animal on the cold ground.
Alone At Home
Lyneth’s home is quieter than a whisper. She sits on her kitchen chair with a tear-stained face and a pounding headache.
Two days had passed since she had dialed 911 in her car. Where she had been waiting excitedly for her child and to show him what she’d bought just for him.
This Wasn’t Happening
It had now been a few months since the incident outside the dollar store. The police had done a thorough search for her boy but came up empty-handed. Lyneth was inconsolable.
Time kept turning and Lyneth found herself sitting, crying on her son’s 25th birthday in her house all alone. What had happened? Not knowing made it so much worse.
She Only Had Her Memories
Many different agencies had attempted to find her son. The Missing Children Society of Canada was still trying to find her boy. Even with just a few photos and memories to remember Jermaine by she still was determined as ever.
She was suspicious of her estranged husband stealing away her child and moving them both to America. But there was nothing to back it up. Soon though, there would be a surprising break in this longwinded and heartwrenching case.
Even in the U.S. resources were allocated to finding Jermaine. The Charley Project is a database that logs every missing child or adult that might be in America.
Even with all of this, there was no evidence to go on. But one person out there was dedicated to finding Jermaine, no matter what the cost. And he would let nothing stop him.
Breaking The Case Open
Ted Davis, a retired police officer, worked with the Missing Children Society of Canada for 30 years and had met with Lyneth to talk about her son. Seeing the pain in her heart he swore that he’d find out what happened to her boy.
With Ted now involved, there was a huge break in the case after three decades of no leads at all. The 30-year-old case was about to have some light shed on it.
That same year, Ted had attended a conference alongside members of the Toronto police and representatives of the United States.
When at the event, the attendees started to discuss Jermaine’s disappearance which ultimately sparked further interest. As Ted left the conference little did he know investigators would have some fresh leads to follow.
A Crucial Clue
By the end of summer 2018, investigators had got in contact with numerous people who were Allan’s acquaintances. With each person they spoke to, investigators hoped they would be able to get some vital information.
Some suggested that Allan may have made his way 500 miles east of Toronto, residing in Connecticut. But it wasn’t until they spoke to one of Alan’s closet friends that they would land a crucial clue that would finally lead police to Jermaine.
Jermaine Is Alive?
Supposedly, Allan had created a new name, a new alias, and a brand new identity. Going by the name as Hailee Randolph DeSouza, police knew they were one step closer to finding out what happened to Jermaine.
They searched official databases and social media and finally, they found a match; an elderly man and aged man living in Vernon, a town close to the Connecticut capital of Hartford. Could this be them? If so, does that mean Jermaine is alive?
A Match Made In Heaven
With the mystery finally about to be solved, investigators enlisted forensic experts to help join the case. They examined the driver’s license photo that was on record for DeSouza’a’s son.
And slowly but surely in October 2018, the team was able to confirm what they had all been hoping for: that DeSouza’s son and Jermaine were probably the same. They had a match! But first, they had to catch Alan.
Tracking Him Down
Investigators were excited that they finally had some answers. But they knew they needed to make a move; they had to find Allan before it was too late.
An anonymous source claimed Allan often spent his time at the local KFC; he was friendly with the staff and he sure did love the food! And so, investigators set off to the KFC ready to bring Allan to justice and make him pay for his crimes. But would that be the case today?
“This is the police,” screams a member of the Connecticut Police Department as they race inside the KFC restaurant. The team scanned the room looking for Allan, while startled and confused employees stand around. Then they notice an elderly man sitting in the corner of the room.
He puts his hands up and the police immediately corner him and the man confirms that he is the fugitive they’re looking for. But where was Jermaine?
A Crucial Encounter
Police suspected that back in 1986 Allan had fled Toronto with Jermaine and traveled to the United States with the two reportedly sharing an apartment in Connecticut since 2004.
Handcuffing Allan before leading him outside, the police hear a voice. “Dad?” Suddenly, a middle-aged man walks around the corner. A middle-aged man with big brown eyes. Just like Jermaine.
Living A Lie
The father and son duo – unbeknownst to the son – lived a life of lies for decades and decades. After fleeing Canada, Allan had managed to acquire fake documents, residing in New York, North Carolina, and then settling in Connecticut.
When living in Vernon, Allan found employment as a trucker and as an engineer, while Jermaine worked for the state. Little did Jermaine know, his whole life had been a lie.
All his life Jermaine had questions about his mother. His dad told him she passed away during childbirth, but he was pretty ambiguous about the details.
Jermaine remembers seeing his friends get picked up from school by their mothers. Jermaine never had that. And it wasn’t until he turned 33, that the truth about his mother would come to light.
What Kind Of Father Would Do This?
Standing and weeping in court as his father’s lies and deceitfulness came to light, Jermaine sobbed into his tissue. How could his father do such a thing? His heart stops to hear that Allan would not be facing charges for kidnappings. Instead, he would be extradited to Canada to face further charges.
As he steps out of court, Jermaine is lost for words. With thousands of questions running through his mind, a sudden realization hits him. His mother is in fact, alive.
The Call That Changed Her Life
Lyneth is speechless. She has just got off the phone with Ted. They’ve found Jermaine. Her baby boy. He’s alive. He’s safe. She had been waiting for this moment for 31 years.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Lyneth breaks down, tears falling from her face. She’s going to see her baby boy again.
Words Couldn’t Express It
So, Lyneth had finally received the news that she had been hoping and waiting for — for the last three decades. “Words can’t express what I felt,” she said at a press conference in 2018.
“The words, ‘Your son is alive; we’ve found him,’ that is breathtaking.” The overjoyed mother then boarded a plane to Connecticut. She couldn’t wait to reunite with her long-lost son.
Standing in the pickup area at Connecticut airport, Lyneth is about to be reunited with her son after 30 years. She can’t believe it. What will he look like?
Suddenly, a tall, dark figure appears, walking towards Lyneth. Instantly she recognizes the face and those big brown eyes. Her heart stops. It’s her son. It’s Jermaine.
Never Letting Go
Running towards each other with tears streaming down their faces, Lyneth and Jermaine crash into each other with a warm embrace. Both are crying and overwhelmed with emotion.
Squeezing each other tight, they both have so many questions. But for now, they just hug each other tight, refusing to ever let go again.
The Same Eyes
“I grabbed him and squeezed his head; I want to feel if he’s real,” she said through tears. “I touched him, and I said, ‘Oh my God, my baby.’”
Although Jermaine has declined to give any public interviews as yet, Lyneth mentioned that he made a touching comment when they met — he said that they shared the same eyes.
After Lyneth was reunited with Jermaine at last, the pair were able to spend some quality time together at last. Lyneth was eager to learn about Jermaine’s life and what had happened in the last 31 years.
Lyneth even bought ingredients to make Jermaine a home-cooked dinner – only to find out that he is a vegetarian. But Jermaine decided to make an exception. “He said, ‘You know what, Mommy? Cook the chicken. I’m gonna eat the chicken,’” Lyneth recalled.
Never Apart Again
For the time being, it is unclear if Lyneth will relocate to be closer to her long-lost son. However, the happy mother did tell reporters that she will do everything in her power to make sure they are never separated again.
Then, Lyneth went on to open up about the devastating actions that Allan had taken all those years ago.
“I just thought it was sad for him to have done what he did,” Lyneth confessed. “You never take a child from its parent – no matter what.”
The mother also coming to terms with the fact that her son had a whole other life before she came back into the picture. “I have to respect the fact that he was a child; he didn’t know anything,” she explained.
He Had No Choice
“So, what was given to him, he had no choice but to live with that,” Lyneth continued. “And so, if the name that he has right now, he would like to respect that, then I’m gonna stand with him.”
With that being said, however, Lyneth admitted that calling her son by his new name may always be difficult. “To me, my son has always been Jermaine, so yes, that sticks for me,” she explained.
During a news conference, Lyneth also took the time to give special thanks to all those people on the case — all those people who never gave up the search for her missing boy.
Lyneth made special mention of the MCSC and the authorities on both sides of the border. Furthermore, she hoped that her story might inspire other parents in her situation to never give up their faith.
“I am the proof that after 31 long years of suffering – 31 long years – one should never give up,” Lyneth explained. “But be patient, be strong, and believe that all things are possible and that anything can transpire.”
Meanwhile, John Durham, Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney, spoke about all of the investigators who had worked so long and hard to bring Jermaine home.
“After taking his son away from his son’s mother, this defendant is alleged to have lived a lie for the last 31 years in violation of numerous U.S. laws,” Durham said in an official statement in 2018.
“We thank the many law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada that have investigated this matter, worked hard to apprehend this fugitive, and finally provided some answers to a mother who has suffered with her son’s absence for far too long.”
An Unusual Case
And, according to the experts, Jermaine’s disappearance is an exception to the rule in what is actually a surprisingly common crime.
“This is believed to be the longest case in North America – if possibly not the world – where an abducted child is reunited with a parent where they’re both in safe condition,” Banks explained.