Man appeared in N.S. court on child abduction charge after Indigenous teen found safe

SYDNEY, N.S. —  A 47-year-man has appeared in court on one count of abducting a child in connection with the disappearance of a 14-year-old Cape Breton Indigenous teenager who was recently found safe.

The man appeared before Nova Scotia Provincial Court in Sydney on Monday and did not enter a plea, said Chris Hansen with the Public Prosecution Service. He will remain in custody until his bail hearing on Wednesday, she said.

Dozens of community members from the We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq First Nation had been searching for the girl since Aug. 13, when she was last seen at a gas station in Eskasoni, N.S.

The 14-year-old had earlier gone missing from her foster home and was believed to be travelling with a 47-year-old man she knew.

Police said they located the girl and the man in an isolated part of Cape Breton around 1 a.m. Saturday. They were both taken into police custody, and the girl was later released.

The RCMP was heavily criticized for only issuing a localized alert for the girl a week after she disappeared. The Native Women’s Association of Canada said police did not act with enough urgency to find her, and thousands signed a petition to have the RCMP issue an Amber Alert.

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