Mother accused in 1993 kidnapping appears in court
Patricia O'Byrne made a brief court appearance on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. (CTV NEWS/John Mantha)
Published Monday, December 5, 2011 4:05PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 6:46AM EDT
A woman who has been charged with kidnapping her own child 18 years ago made a brief appearance in a Toronto court on Monday, after hiring high-profile lawyer Ed Greenspan as her legal representative.
Patricia O'Byrne, 54, was arrested in Victoria, B.C. last Thursday on charges of parental abduction. O'Byrne is accused of abducting her then-infant daughter in May 1993 while in the midst of a custody dispute with the girl's father.
O'Byrne's other lawyer, Todd White told reporters outside of the courtroom that the woman should not be kept in custody.
He said that people should hear the whole story before condemning O'Byrne. He also insisted that she is not a flight risk.
Joe Chisholm of Toronto has been searching ever since -- following leads across Canada and Europe -- and says he's thrilled that he might finally have a chance to connect with his daughter, who is now 20.
In YouTube videos he posted over the years, Chisholm recounted childhood memories and shared baby photos with the hope he would make contact.
"If you find me before I find you, which is fine by me, you'll have a lot of questions -- where you came from, who the rest of your family is, so on and so forth," he says in one video dated August 2008.
Police say her mother was arrested following a tip to the Missing Children Society of Canada that she might be living on Vancouver Island. O'Byrne, at times, was also thought to be in the U.K. or Spain.
In fact, she was living in B.C. under an alias and working as a government communications rep. She was also on the parental committee of her daughter's school.
On Monday, O'Byrne made a brief court appearance for a preliminary bail hearing. The Crown is seeking to have O'Byrne remanded. The conclusion of the hearing has been put off until Tuesday.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney