Found after 17 years - Jonah Kent and Phyllis Hallatt

Found after 17 years – Jonah Kent and Phyllis Hallatt

Jonah Kent tells his story at the 3rd Annual Child Find Fundraising Breakfast.

He bounced from town to town and state to state.  He never went to school but learned 3 languages and became a brilliant craftsman.  That was the childhood experience of Jonah Kent who was abducted by his father in Florida when he was 2 years old.  He did not know that he was missing and he did not contact his mother for over 17 years.  His story is fascinating.  Jonah Kent was our special guest at the 3rd Annual Fundraising Breakfast for Child Find Saskatchewan, held at TCU Place on May 25th, 2017 in recognition of International Missing Children’s Day. Our 200 plus guests enjoyed a hot buffet breakfast, greetings from the province with Minister Gordon Wyant and from the Saskatoon Police Service.  Chris Krieger from Deluxe Design Group out of Calgary was the host of the interview with Jonah and Child Find president, Phyllis Hallatt.  The abduction of Jonah Kent was one of the first cases for Chid Find SK.  His mother asked for our assistance when she was living in Estevan in the mid 80’s, just when Child Find was incorporated. However, this was 12 years after Jonah had gone missing.  We had our work cut out for us.

 

“There were many roadblocks in our way over the years that we looked for Jonah. The laws are different in Florida.  A custodial parent can take their child and they are not considered missing.  At first, Jonah was not included on any missing persons list at all so law enforcement was not looking for him. This made the search much more difficult.”

Phyllis also spoke of the technology available in 1985.  The tools at her disposal were printed photos, a fax machine, the telephone and the postal system. A far cry from what we have at our finger tips today and the speed at which information can travel is incomparable.  But through sheer determination, a little luck and Jonah needing a drivers’ license which would put him on the grid, Jonah’s dad handed him his mother’s phone number. 17 years after Jonah was taken, he called his mother on Christmas Eve. If you ask Jonah about his experience as a missing child, he does not speak of regret or bitterness.  He has great respect for his father despite his unconventional childhood.

 “My father was an eccentric man and had strong ideas about life in general and how he wanted to live.  Although I didn’t have a particularly traditional childhood by most standards, I always felt I had everything I needed…despite what my father did, I was safe and loved and that’s more than a lot of kids get.”

“Jonah’s unique story told from the perspective of the missing child is a rare story indeed and we are grateful he was able to share his story with us.  For more information on Jonah’s story, stay tuned for up-dates from Child Find on the release date of a documentary written and produced by Chris Krieger and Chantelle Kolesnik from Deluxe Design Group about Jonah and his life as a missing child.

Child Find would like to thank all our guests who attended and donated to our Fundraising Breakfast. We could not do what we do without you.  A special thanks to Minister Gordon Wyant for bringing greetings from the Province of Saskatchewan and Inspector Russ Friesen for bringing greeting on behalf of Chief Clive Weighill of the Saskatoon Police Service.  Thank you Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers for your generous donation and thank you TD for your sponsorship again this year.  Assante Wealth Management First Avenue, thank you for your very generous donation to Child Find SK. Steve Chisholm at 98 Cool, always a great friend of Child Find, thank you for your media support and for being our M.C.  Shaw Television and Global TV Saskatoon, a big “thumbs up” for your continued support. Child Find could not begin organize this event without the efforts of Darrell Nordstrom and Val Meshke, members of our Breakfast Fundraising Committee.  We appreciate your assistance more than you know.  To our searching families of Saskatchewan, please know we will never stop searching and that there is always hope. Funds raised at the Breakfast go help fund the development and delivery of programs and services to families of Saskatchewan.  All of the programs and services offered by Child Find SK are free of charge.

To read more about Jonah’s story, please click here

Found after 17 years - Jonah Kent and Phyllis Hallatt

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