The Daily News (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
April 1, 1992
A Kentville judge issued a Canada-wide warrant yesterday for the arrest of parents’ rights activist Edward “Isaac” Dawson, who has disappeared with his son in the midst of a custody battle.
Provincial court Judge Jean-Louis Batiot issued the warrant after a request from regional Crown attorney Jack Buntain, Buntain told The daily News.
New Minas RCMP Const. Wendell Murchison, the investigator in the case, said, “Hopefully, he’ll turn up somewhere.”
Dawson, 37, faces a charge of disobeying a March 13 court order granting interim weekend custody of his nine-year old son, Michael, to his ex-wife, Judy Seymour.
Dawson and his son disappeared shortly after the interim order was granted. Dawson did not appear at a hearing five days later when family court Chief Judge Marshall Black granted Seymour permanent weekend custody.
“An abduction charge is being contemplated,” said Murchison. The Attorney General’s Department would have to approve the new charge, he said.
Murchison said he won’t return to Dawson’s home, the Myrtle Tree Farm religious commune in Waterville, where he has been several times. He has been told only Dawson is away visiting friends, he said.
The farm is owned by the Vermont-based Northeast Kingdom Community church, a fundamentalist Christian group that distances itself from the secular world.
The Pennsylvania-based Children’s Rights Investigation Bureau (CRIB), which has been investigating the case of Stephen Wooten – another custody dispute involving church member and an ex-spouse who has left the church – has agreed to cooperate in the Dawson case.
“We definitely want to help all we can,” said CRIB executive director Tom Watts yesterday.
Church members have hidden children in custody cases in the past, he said. “It’s definitely very possible (the Dawson’s) would be in the United States, but it’s also possible they’re in a safe house in Halifax or Barrington Passage.”
Jailed in 1988
Murchison said the RCMP cooperated with CRIB when it came to Nova Scotia to search for Wooten’s two children, and the Mounties are glad to have CRIB’s help in the Dawson case.
Dawson was last in conflict with authorities in 1988, when he spent 23 days behind bars for refusing to co-operate with the seizure of his son on accusations, never proven, of physical abuse.