An American man has been arrested in Niue after allegedly abducting his son from Seattle two months ago.
Nine-year-old Billy Hanson had spent the summer with his father and was supposed to return to his mother in Pennsylvania, but his father had different ideas.
The peaceful shores of Niue were supposed to be a haven for Jeffrey Ford Hanson and son Billy. But it's where their two-month sailing trip from the United States came to an end, when Hanson failed to clear Customs properly.
"They said I could take it up to the jail," says Hanson.
Billy was supposed to return to his mother in Pennsylvania after spending summer with his dad, but never made it home. He was reported missing on September 10.
An international arrest warrant was issued for Hanson on September 12. Authorities were on the lookout for his 1976 sailboat, called Draco. It was a two-month journey to Niue.
Witnesses to the arrest were surprised at what unfolded onshore.
"Both of them seemed to be happy and the child was playing around and that, but apparently he's taken the child and come to Niue from the States," says witness Robert Campbell.
Hanson is said to be co-operating with police, even helping clean out his boat.
Billy's being looked after by a local family, though he is not quite sure what to make of events.
Hanson has been charged with international parental kidnapping. The FBI issued a statement, saying it's "working with the US attorney's office on the extradition process. Once that is complete, US federal agents will bring Jeffrey Hanson back to the US."
Officials are also working on reuniting Billy with his mother after an extra-long summer holiday.
source: newshub archive