“Praise God. Who can know my family and not believe in an amazing, awesome God?” exclaimed the toddler’s mother. “We are truly blessed.”
The toddler is three-year-old Kienan Hebert, safely returned — apparently by a kidnapper — to his Vancouver-area, Canada, home after being missing for four days.
“Tens of thousands of prayers were answered this morning,” said the province’s Solicitor-General Shirley Bond.
“I can’t begin to fathom the anguish his parents, Paul and Tammy, have experienced over the nightmare of the past four days. But throughout the ordeal, their faith that Kienan would come home safe gave everyone involved strength,” said British Columbia’s Premier, Christy Clark, who is the Canadian equivalent of a state governor.
Indeed, the members of the Sparwood Fellowship Baptist Church where Kienan’s family attends could barely contain their joy — after all, the congregation had been praying fervently while police searched for the missing toddler.
“We thanked God for answering our prayers that Kienan is home safe, and just praying that, at three years old, his mind and his memory will be protected,” Pastor Pat Rutley told the Vancouver Sun newspaper, “and maybe he will grow up and have no memory of this. That he will be back in his loving family and recover completely and not have any negative effects.”
A tearful Paul Hebert told his son had been examined by medical personnel who said he was not harmed during a four-day abduction that led to an Amber Alert.
Police continued to search for 46-year-old Randall Hopley, who was convicted for sexual assault two decades ago and given a two-year prison sentence in that case. In 2007, he was charged with unlawful confinement and attempted abduction.
The family’s harrowing ordeal came to a close when Kienan was returned home in the early morning hours. Despite the circumstances, father Paul Hebert said Sunday that his son was in good spirits.
“Kienan is happily home and he’s playing with his brothers and sisters, thank you,” Hebert said during an emotional press conference.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said to news cameras, speaking to the suspected abductor, “and I thank God that Kienan was returned unharmed.”
At around 3 a.m., police received a 911 call that the boy would be at his family home. Due to all the publicity, the Hebert family was staying elsewhere.
Police arrived at the home to find Kienan sitting alone on a couch with his blanket. When asked why a suspect was able to enter the Hebert home undetected again, Moskaluk said Mounties are still looking at the “sequence of events.”
After thanking the Almighty, Kienan’s mother, Tammy, told reporters, “I want to thank the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the search and rescue personnel, and the hundreds of volunteers for their tremendous efforts since Kienan went missing.”