Mother reunited with son 31 years after parental abduction


The mother of a son who was abducted as a toddler in 1987 says being reunited with him 31 years later is a breathtaking experience.

More than 30 years ago, Lyneth Mann-Lewis' 21-month-old son vanished after visiting his father.

Authorities said the son was unaware that he had been abducted because he had been told his mother had died shortly after giving birth.

The following day, Mann-Lewis, who said she never stopped believing that her son would be found, was flown down to CT for an emotional reunion.

He will face a charge of abduction once extradited back to Canada.

"Hailee was very close to his son", said the neighbor. "Be patient, be strong, and believe that all things are possible and that anything can transpire".

Their visit was full of little discoveries, from Mann seeing the similarity in his and his mother's eyes to Mann-Lewis realizing Mann listens to the same music as her other son.

Allan Mann, a citizen of the United States and Ghana, kidnapped 2-year-old child in 1987 and brought it to the States.

"They lived, basically, a life of lies as to who they were and what they did, unbeknownst to Jermaine", police detective Wayne Banks said.

Jermaine Mann, now 33, had been living with his father in the Vernon, Connecticut, under a false name. "Finally he said, 'Mom I love you, ' and I said, 'I love you too son, '" she recounted.

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Mann-Lewis contacted both Toronto police and the Missing Children Society of Canada in hopes of finding her son, launching multi-decade investigations in both agencies.

A Toronto-area mother who spent three anguished decades wondering whether her son was alive or dead said their recent, happy reunion should offer hope to other families grappling with the pain of missing a child.

A cross-border investigation was finally able to solve the 30-year mystery when detectives made contact with relatives of Mann Jr, who tipped them off that he had moved to CT and adopted the name DeSouza.

"Words couldn't express what I felt", she said.

Canada's national missing persons registry now lists 165 people who disappeared as children. "As you can imagine, this is a hard time for all of us", she said.

Wanting to cook for her son, Mann-Lewis went to a supermarket and purchased enough chicken and vegetables for a feast - only to learn that her son prefers not to eat meat.

Ms. Mann-Lewis never gave up faith that her son would return.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said that his agency had held a conference on fugitive training in 2016 and said this very case was discussed with USA law enforcement officials.

The Hartford Courant reported that the son sobbed quietly in the front row with his head in his hands and left the courthouse without commenting.