Found Safe Canada - O’Driscoll-Zak sisters, 2 & 5, abduction by aunt & grandmother, Cochrane, 12 Mar 2021

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by MistyWaters, Mar 14, 2021.

  1. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    I would hope that another Judge is reviewing the case file to understand whether something could have been done differently to prevent this family abduction of young children. The question is : why did the mother and her family feel so desperate? Was it simply a refusal to accept that divorce means raising children in two households, or was there a bias against the mother?
     


  2. rkendmar

    rkendmar Well-Known Member

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    IMO, one of the unusual things that struck me about this case was the father of the girls putting out information to imply that the mother was a danger to the girls and was mentally ill.

    "He (Colin Zak, the father) worries for the safety of his daughters.

    "I'm very concerned. The mother is extremely unwell. The mother of my children is extremely unwell. That's why the court has ordered a psychiatric assessment and that's why they removed the children ultimately. I think that's what it comes down to.""
    Father of missing girls concerned for their safety
     
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  3. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    Yes we really don’t know much at this point.

    Perhaps this truly is the action taken by the grandmother and aunt of the children, and the mother indeed had no knowledge of an abduction scheme at all? I can think of a situation or two where I later learned others in the background were calling all the shots, pushing the buttons, arousing anger, giving the person directly involved no breathing space to make decisions or think clearly at all.
     
  4. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    <modsnip: Quoted post was removed>

    The mother needs a very experienced lawyer - one that will cost at least $500 per hour. She also needs an experience personal advocate to keep her focused on what the courts need to know - nothing more, nothing less. A less experienced lawyer could walk into a custody situation with a heap of dirty laundry and carelessly think that the courts are just going through the motions because joint custody is the typical result in 99% of custody disputes.

    When a psychologist is used in custody disputes, it is usually one lawyer that puts forward the name, and the other lawyer accepts. This can result in the psychologist leaning towards the parent that put forward the name of the psychologist.

    Something about this situation seems wrong - and I don't think it's because the father is dangerous or the mother is unfit. I'm genuinely leaning towards inexperienced lawyer with this type of dispute, potentially biased psychological assessment, the mother being out of her depths and fearful of losing her young daughters, and perhaps insufficient information for the courts to properly assess the situation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2021
  5. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    As it appears from the Canlii doc, the existing custody had already expired, which then forced the Judge to make a ruling. It appears the mother refused to participate in the court ordered Reunification process, requiring her to supportively reintroduce the dad to the children’s lives. As a result of that it appears the Judge was left with no other alternative but to award custody to the dad, who did cooperate with the earlier court order.

    Maybe the expired custody agreement is also the reason the grandmother and aunt aren’t already charged with abduction? I agree, good attorneys but also a strong unbiased mediator who’s looking out for the children’s best interest is also required as child custody matters are seldom about winning. I’d say they’re successfully based on compromise.

    If the maternal side intends for the father to have NO access, that’s just not reasonable and I think the dad’s concern for the safety of the children is justified.

    JMO
     
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  6. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Absolutely! The courts take the view that it takes two to tango, that both have made mistakes, but they both need to come to the table to sort out the mess.

    It's possible that there was an interim decision that the mother would have temporary custody, or that it was joint custody with the mother having day to day care of the children. If the father made an application for 50% care of the children, that could result in termination of child support payments, and the children constantly going back and forth between two homes. If the parents do not currently live in the same town, that means a big mess regarding schooling, friends and a stable environment for the children. Parents lose rights when they divorce because the best interests of the children trumps their personal interests.

    Regardless, the courts believe that it is important for children to have access to both parents, even if the parents are not perfect, and the belief is that although a parent may treat a spouse poorly, that does not mean they treat the children poorly.
     
  7. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    Cochrane RCMP believe suspects receiving aid in case of missing girls | Calgary Herald

    “Investigators understand that there are many people who are sympathetic to the custody situation of these children,” said Cochrane RCMP in a statement on Friday.

    “Those assisting the O’Driscoll’s may believe they are acting in the best interests of the children, however those who assist in the commission of a criminal offence can be charged criminally with aiding and abetting.”

    Investigators suspect the O’Driscoll’s are receiving assistance to avoid apprehension. They are urging anyone with information or who are assisting the O’Driscoll’s to contact the police immediately....”
     
  8. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Not surprising. The fact that they vanished without a trace does suggest that someone without half the information thinks they are acting in the best interests of the children. That could not be farther from the truth. Parents in custody disputes are notorious for making false allegations against the other parent - the courts know this. They've seen it all. My first guess is that the children are staying at a friend's cabin in the Okanagan area or other rural area in AB or BC.
     
  9. forthelost

    forthelost I hear the angels call my name and I am Winterborn

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  10. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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  11. forthelost

    forthelost I hear the angels call my name and I am Winterborn

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    Not everyone on that list was abducted by a parent; there's grandparents and aunts and stepparents on the list too.
     
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  12. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    I just had a fleeting thought — if the abductor had been a male would’ve the RCMP’s response been the same? Indeed an aunt or grandmother gives less cause for alarm but does that make an abduction any less serious? Interesting to contemplate....albeit OT.

    I just hope somebody steps forward soon. Hiding four people, two adults and two young children, is just not sustainable on the long term. What can going into hiding possibly hope to accomplish? It’s not as if it’s going to play out like a kidnapping, the court forced to agree to the mother’s terms and conditions regarding access. It seems like an example of thoughtless, ill-convinced, pointless drama in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  13. Mystrywrtr62

    Mystrywrtr62 Well-Known Member

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    Good point. There is a lot of speculation that "they had good reason" (with no facts to base it on right now), but that same speculation would be wildly different if it was the father who abducted them. An abduction is an abduction. They are committing a crime and should return the children. And it totally destroys the mother's custody arguments. This almost guarantees she will never get legal custody. Which is a shame if there is a basis for her trying to keep the father away from his children.
     
  14. rkendmar

    rkendmar Well-Known Member

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    We all know that in some high conflict cases one of the parties may be unable to financially sustain returning to court multiple times to address custody conflicts.
    Since the girls' father left his job in healthcare communications 4 months ago to become a paralegal, I wonder if the mother's family saw this move as heralding a custody dispute with no ending or resolution possible?
     
  15. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    I don't think so. One of the abductors is a legal assistant.
     
  16. Jsizzle

    Jsizzle Well-Known Member

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    I mean, they can’t stay hidden forever. Right? Don’t these people have jobs? Lives of their own? Homes? Other family?
     
  17. Alice Ramnit

    Alice Ramnit Well-Known Member

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  18. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    We know who the person's of interest are.

    "The disappearance of the children is being investigated as an abduction, and the girls are suspected to be with their grandmother 68-year-old Therese O'Driscoll and aunt, 38-year-old Alison O'Driscoll."

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Father of missing girls concerned for their safety
     
  19. Sillybilly

    Sillybilly Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    ADMIN NOTE:

    Please stop with the insinuations or any allegations against the father of these missing children unless there is something in MSM or from LE (or court documentation) to substantiate such a discussion.
     
  20. modesty blaise

    modesty blaise Well-Known Member

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    Aunt does not have her own life??
     

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