B.C. woman hunts for missing toddler taken from country by estranged wife and sperm donor

Tasha Brown calls her daughter Kaydance “a sparkling gem, a little miracle.” And then she begins to cry. Brown is frantic with worry, because her two-year-old is missing.

Brown began to suspect in early May that her estranged wife had defied a court order and fled Canada with their daughter, who was conceived with the help of a sperm donor father.

That suspicion was confirmed days later, when police in Saanich, B.C., discovered that Lauren Etchells, 31, a Canadian-British dual citizen, had managed to board a WestJet flight in Vancouver with Kaydance, arriving the next morning in Gatwick Airport, outside London.

They hadn’t travelled alone. Also on board WestJet Flight 0022 was Etchells’ old chum and new love interest, a South African man named Marco van der Merwe, and a second child named Marcus, a son born to Etchells and van der Merwe just a month earlier in a Victoria-area hospital.