Toronto Sun

January 6, 2001

Mom on most-wanted list

By TOM GODFREY -- Toronto Sun

A Stratford mom who abducted her eight-year-old triplets and is hiding with them in Mexico has been placed on Interpol's most-wanted list.

Triplets Peter, Gray and Olivia Merkley are among 39 children posted on Interpol's Web site for missing children. Of those, 19 are Canadian kids who were snatched and taken abroad.

The RCMP said yesterday it's a priority to find Carline Vandenelsen, 38, who is sought on a Canada-wide warrant for the kidnapping of her triplets last Oct. 14.

Vandenelsen, who had supervised custody, vanished with the tots and $60,000 in family investments. She has since been spotted in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Texas, Panama and Mexico City.

"The kids could be a danger because they're not being looked after properly," said RCMP Staff-Sgt. John Oliver, of the missing children registry. "The Internet could play a big part in this case."

After leaving Canada, police said, Vandenelsen drove across the U.S. with the triplets and took a flight to Panama, where they were refused entry and sent to Mexico.

"It is very urgent that we get these kids back quickly," said ChildFind spokesman Lori Chapman. "This would be a priority case."

The missing triplets were featured last November on the TV show America's Most Wanted.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.