Child in Amber Alert found safe; Family was very worried

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New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie)New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie)

Update, 9:00, 14 December 2019: The boy and his mother were found safe and in good health, police in Gelderland said. The Amber Alert was withdrawn, and the names of the boy and his mother were redacted from this report.

Relatives of a missing one-year-old boy say they are very concerned about the child’s welfare after he was allegedly kidnapped by his mother. Rowena van der V. was recently stripped of all unsupervised visitation rights with her son, now aged 14 months, the boy’s uncle Thijs Roseboom told Hart van Nederland.

“We are afraid he is in real danger,” the uncle said. He is concerned that the mother will attempt to flee the country with the blond-haired toddler. “The most important thing is that he is found. Everything else comes later.”

Police issued an Amber Alert related to the boy's disappearance on Friday night. An Amber Alert is only issued by authorities when they believe a child is in imminent or life-threatening danger.

A court ruling gave the boy's father was full custody two weeks ago, and the 26-year-old mother was given one hour of supervised visitation weekly. It was during her allotted hour that she disappeared from Ede, Gelderland, with the child on Friday.

Van der V. is about 1.70-meters tall, with dark hair, and was wearing a cream-colored coat with black leggings. The child was wearing a striped gray cardigan and brown boots. The two were last seen about 50 kilometers away from Ede outside a Rabobank cash machine near the Hoog Catharijne shopping mall In central Utrecht at 10 a.m. on Friday. Their destination was unknown to authorities.

“We really wonder where they could be,” Roseboom said. “I also wonder what the reach of an Amber Alert is, and whether it will also be received in other countries.”

Fewer than 30 Amber Alerts have been issued in the Netherlands since the system was introduced 11 years ago. When a child's welfare is not immediately threatened police are more likely to release a Missing Child Alert.