SASKATOON — A woman who was reported missing with her seven-year-old son is facing criminal charges in Canada and the United States.
Saskatoon police said they have charged Dawn Marie Walker, 48, with public mischief and parental abduction in contravention of a custody order.
They said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also charged her with the felony offence of knowingly producing a passport of another person and a misdemeanour charge of possessing identification that was stolen or produced illegally.
Walker and her son were reported missing last month, but police said they were found safe in Oregon City on Friday after allegedly crossing the border illegally.
The boy was returned to Canada on Sunday after a legal guardian picked him up, police said
Walker remains in custody in Oregon, where she was scheduled to appear in court on Monday on the U.S. charges. Saskatoon police said officials are working to extradite her back to Canada to face the other offences.
“As the criminal investigation progresses, there may be further charges that Ms. Walker will face as a result,” Saskatoon police Deputy Chief Randy Huisman said Monday.
“Investigators are looking at several different charges, and in relation to the false identity documents that were alluded to, and how she was able to prepare those documents.”
Police said they began searching for Walker and her son on July 24 after friends reported them missing.
Her red Ford F-150 truck had been found abandoned days earlier at Chief Whitecap Park, just south of Saskatoon, along with some of her personal belongings.
RCMP assisted in searching the South Saskatchewan River near the park, using land, air and water crews, while providing daily updates to Walker’s family who attended the searches.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, where Walker worked as its chief executive officer, had organized a vigil and walks through the park to raise awareness about the disappearance.
The federation also issued its own Amber Alert for Walker and her son, and asked the police to do the same. Police said there wasn’t evidence to suggest they were in imminent danger.
“An Amber Alert did not fit the criteria provincially or locally,” Huisman said. “That person needs to be at imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death, and we didn’t have that in this case. If we’re following the guidelines provincially and locally, it still wouldn’t have met the parameters.”
On Friday, two weeks after Walker was last seen at a business in Saskatoon, police announced she had been found “safe and well’ with her son in Oregon City, a community on the southern edge of Portland, Ore.
Huisman said Walker was found in a rental unit.
The boy’s family issued a statement Saturday saying that “over the past two weeks of hell” all they had wished for was the safe return of Walker and the boy.
“When we found out they were both safe, there was sobbing, laughing, dancing, shouting, throwing of shoes and hugging. Even though we weren’t together, the family celebrated together. It feels as though we can finally breathe,” the boy’s family said.
Walker, who is from Okanese First Nation, is also a well-known author. Her recent book “The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour,” published under the name Dawn Dumont, was named last week as a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.