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Brampton woman, son reunited 31 years after parental abduction

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A mother and son who were reunited after an alleged parental abduction 31 years ago will speak at a news conference this afternoon.

Lyneth Mann-Lewis of Brampton, and Jermaine Mann — who until recently was living under an alias in the U.S. — will be joined at Toronto Police headquarters by the city’s police chief and the Missing Children Society of Canada.

U.S. federal agents say Jermaine’s father, Allan Mann Jr., was arrested on Friday in Connecticut, where the two had been living under aliases in a quiet suburb near Hartford.

Officials say they notified Mann-Lewis that her son had been identified and located, and the two have since been reunited.

Allan Mann Jr. appeared briefly Friday in federal court in Hartford, where he faces charges including making false statements in transactions with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham says the suspect is alleged to have “lived a lie for the last 31 years.”

“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,” said Durham.

U.S. officials said Mann Jr. has dual Canadian and Ghanaian citizenship, and was found living under the name Hailee DeSouza in subsidized housing in Vernon, about 20 kilometres east of Hartford.

After running off with his 21-month-old son on June 24, 1987, following a visitation in Toronto, Mann Jr. entered the U.S. and obtained fake identification for himself and his son, including bogus Texas birth certificates, officials alleged.

The investigation has involved multiple U.S. agencies as well as Toronto Police and the RCMP.

The Hartford Courant reported that Jermaine Mann sobbed quietly in the front row as his father appeared in court on Friday, and left the courthouse without commenting. Jermaine Mann had been told his mother died decades ago, the Courant reported.

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