Friday, 07. March 2014
03. 04. 12. - 20:00
An international hunt is on for a Danish man who snatched his son from his ex-girlfriend's hands as she took him to the kindergarten in Graz, Austria, and then sped off in a rental car.
Dane Thomas Sörensen is believed to be trying to head back to Denmark where he believes courts will allow him to keep the son Oliver, 5, that he forcibly abducted in Austria.
Police said that the mother had been taking her child to the private kindergarten when the 40-year-old ex-lover suddenly appeared, and dragged the child into a black Volvo rental car and sped off. He was apparently with another person.
Police believe he is now heading back to Denmark and have launched a manhunt with an international arrest warrant. A police spokesman said: "He is believed to be trying to get back to Denmark as quickly as possible – we believe he is possibly in Poland but more likely in Germany as it's a quicker road."
The couple had lived for a long time in Denmark and shortly after the birth of the child they separated and the boy lived with his mother in the country. At that time the father had visiting rights.
In 2010 the mother returned to Austria at the time when she had the exclusive custody of the boy. The father then launched a case in Denmark demanding he be given custody which according to his lawyer Britta Schönhart was awarded on all points, but because the child was already in Austria it could not be enforced without the approval of Austrian officials.
But when the man arrived in Austria and attempted to have the Danish ruling accepted an Austrian court rejected the application, and refused to give the man exclusive custody. They said a decision for exclusive custody would not be in the interests of the child – and they said that he should only be allowed supervised visiting rights.
Mum Marion Wailharter, 40, said: "I am really desperately worried and I would appeal to anybody that thinks they have seen my son to contact the police straight away."
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