Saskatoon woman made checklist while planning abduction, court documents allege
A Saskatoon mother stands accused of faking her own death, as well as her son's, in an "elaborate and well thought out plan" that included handwritten checklists, according to court documents.
Dawn Walker, 48, and her seven-year-old son were located by U.S. authorities in Oregon City, Oregon on Aug. 5.
According to U.S. District Court filings, Walker allegedly stole the identity of a close friend to open up a bank account as part of an "abduction scheme" to abduct her son and enter the U.S. illegally. She is currently being held in an Oregon detention facility.
In a memo requesting Walker remain in custody awaiting her trial, U.S. Attorney Natalie Wight said she believes Walker poses a "flight risk."
"As part of an elaborate and well thought out plan, the defendant, a Canadian citizen, kidnapped her child and, after faking her death and that of her son, fled to the United States," Wight said.
"The defendant has every incentive to try and flee to avoid the consequences of their crime. She should be detained."
She is charged with a felony count of aggravated identity theft, which comes with a mandatory two-year sentence if convicted.
Walker also faces a misdemeanour identity theft charge, that could garner up to a six-month sentence.
In addition to the U.S. charges, Saskatoon Police Service charged Walker with abduction in contravention of a custody order and public mischief. On Monday Deputy Chief Randy Huisman said there could be additional charges.
Walker and her son were reported missing on July 24. Her truck and belongings were found the next morning at Chief Whitecap Park in Saskatoon.
An affidavit filed by a U.S. investigator outlines how on July 23 a Saskatoon resident found a blanket, a purse and a broken fishing pole in the South Saskatchewan River.
In the days following the discovery, police and volunteers combed the park and the adjacent river for any sign of Walker or her son.
ALLEGED IDENTITY FRAUD
According to the affidavit filed by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent, Walker's friend only became aware of the alleged identity fraud after she was contacted by police who were investigating Walker's disappearance.
The investigators had flagged two large cheques written to the friend from a business account that listed Walker as the sole card holder.
The two cheques, totalling $77,000, were written in early June and were deposited in a bank account opened in the friend's name on May 16, according to the affidavit which refers to Walker's friend only as "Adult Victim."
The friend's child is referred to as "Minor Victim."
"Adult Victim stated that she did not open this bank account but that the (Adult Victim) had their (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Certificate of Indian Status card and Saskatchewan driver’s license) stolen in April 2022," DHS special agent Clinton Lindsly said in the affidavit.
A string of transactions began appearing in the bank account on July 25, including charges for food, gas, hotels Netflix and Airbnb rentals.
The charges began near the Canadian border in Butte, Montana and ended in Oregon City, according to the affidavit.
"Canadian officials then contacted Airbnb and learned that there was a current rental in Oregon City under the name of Adult Victim," Lindsly said.
According to the affidavit, the Airbnb was placed under surveillance by DHS and a records search showed a person entered the U.S. under the Adult Victim's name accompanied by a child under the Minor Victim's name the morning of July 23.
A blue Chevrolet Equinox with a Saskatchewan plate registered under the Adult Victim's name sat in the driveway of the rental, Lindsly said.
In his statement, Lindsly says he saw Walker leave the Airbnb and get into the vehicle.
"While wearing police markings I then approached the car and ordered the driver of the vehicle to exit the vehicle. I immediately identified the female as Walker," Lindsly said.
He said Walker told him her son was inside when he asked.
"Concerned about the safety and welfare of the child and the fact that she was appearing to leave the child alone, investigators used the Airbnb provided code to enter the Airbnb rental and located the child in the living room," Lindsly said.
Lindsly said Walker provided her real name when asked and that he found a status card, a Saskatchewan driver's licence and debit card all bearing the name of the Adult Victim.
The investigator said he later located genuine Saskatchewan birth certificates in the name of both the Adult Victim and Minor Victim. Lindsly said they were in their original mailing envelope addressed to the Adult Victim.
"I also told Walker that people presumed that she and her son died in the river, to which she spontaneously stated 'he doesn’t want to be with his father.'" Lindsly said.
The special agent also said he found a fraudulent notarized letter purportedly from the Minor Victim's father which authorized the child to travel into the U.S. for a wedding in South Dakota.
"Investigators have confirmed that Minor Victim’s father never provided such authorization," Lindsly said.
"As such, I believe that this document was created by Walker in order to further her son’s entry into the United States by falsely using a passport."
Lindsly said he found what appeared to be a to-do list relating to her disappearance.
"I found several pages that seemed consistent with a “check list” of staging the odd circumstances of their disappearance (i.e. making it look like she and her son fell into the river)," Lindsly wrote.
"This list included things such as dying her hair, packing the car, getting toys, throwing her phone into the water, ditching her car by the bridge, possibly buying a 'fishing rod,' 'find nearest border,' covering her tattoo."
Samples of the lists included in the affidavit also show steps such as "dye hair" and "ditch phone in water" as well as an apparent reminder to bring toys and to pack the vehicle.
Lindsly's affidavit said Walker and her son's biological father "have been engaged in a lengthy custody dispute" and that she picked up the boy from his father on Friday July 22, the last day police said she was seen prior to her disappearance.
According to SPS, she was last seen at a business in the city's Brighton neighbourhood.
The following Monday, police in Saskatoon were dispatched to Walker's home.
The officers "found the door unlocked, her animals unfed, and animal feces on the ground in the house," Lindly said.
After the pair was found, the boy was turned over to the Oregon Department of Human Services where he was expected to be reunited with his father, Lindsly said.
SPS confirmed the boy had returned home with a legal guardian over the weekend.
--With files from Keenan Sorokan
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Quebec's major party leaders made their final appeals to voters Sunday as residents across the province prepared to cast their ballots on Oct. 3. Polls are open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday. During that time, Quebecers will endorse or condemn their leaders' conduct during major language law overhauls, existential questions on provincial identity, and of course, the pandemic.
Researchers are calling for vigilance in a new study that outlines an obscure family of viruses that causes Ebola-like symptoms in certain monkeys, warning that one of these viruses could soon make the jump to humans.
A passenger's cellphone automatically alerted responders after a car hit a tree early Sunday in a Nebraska crash that killed all six of its young occupants, authorities said.
Don't cry for me, Alberta, I was leaving anyway. It's Premier Jason Kenney's swan song message as he prepares to depart the province's top job, forced out by the very United Conservative Party he willed into existence.
A regional park in Coquitlam remained closed Sunday as crews continued to battle a growing wildfire.
Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw said Sunday he has been treated for two forms of cancer in the past year.
After two years of COVID-19 restrictions curbing Halloween, Canadians are expected to ramp up celebrations this year. But the rising cost of goods and ongoing supply chain issues could put a kink in demand for costumes, candy and decorations.
Brazil's top two presidential candidates will face each other in a runoff vote after neither got enough support to win outright Sunday in an election to decide if the country returns a leftist to the helm of the world's fourth-largest democracy or keeps the far-right incumbent in office.
SaskPower’s headquarters in Regina, with its curving contour, has been celebrated and studied in architectural circles for decades. Now, it’s being completely refurbished at a cost of $129 million.
The 31st annual Canadian Cancer Society Run for the Cure took place at Douglas Park on Oct. 2nd for the first time in two years.
An officer with the Regina Police Service (RPS) deployed a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) during a bear spray incident on Saturday evening.
Voters in Winnipeg can have their say early in this month's municipal election starting Monday.
Visitors to Assiniboine Park can now learn more about the history of Canada's residential schools at a newly-erected totem pole gifted to the Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO).
Art lovers were down at St. Vital Centre Sunday afternoon hunting for some new pieces to hang up at home.
Police are on scene at what they are calling an active crime scene in southeast Calgary.
Specialized equipment no longer needed by the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) is being sent to firefighters in Ukraine thanks to a generous donation from an Alberta entrepreneur.
The 28th annual Calgary Run for the Cure brought out thousands of pink-clad people who care Sunday morning.
The Toronto Raptors opened their exhibition season on Sunday by being simply dominant in their Canadian home away from home, beating the Utah Jazz 114-82 in a pre-season game in Edmonton.
Police have cleared an area of Rabbit Hill Road SW just south of Ellerslie Road after operations Sunday evening to contain a residence where weapons may be present.
More troops are on the way to help Cape Bretoners cleanup from Fiona.
Southern Ontario is set to get its first blast of cold weather this season as Environment Canada issued several weather advisories on Sunday.
Ontario’s fallen firefighters from the last two years were honoured during a memorial service in downtown Toronto Sunday afternoon.
Police investigating 'unnecessary and unacceptable' behaviour during post-Panda Game party in Sandy Hill
Seven people have been arrested and dozens of tickets were handed out for open alcohol and excessive noise during Panda Game celebrations in Ottawa on Saturday. Police say they are investigating "unnecessary and unacceptable" behaviour.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Ottawa company hopes redesign can spark office return
At Orangutech Inc., new office on Metcalfe Street, the Ottawa tech firm has left cubicles behind, opting instead for a large, open, communal space.
NEW THIS MORNING
According to data from Public Health Ontario, Ottawa has the third highest rate of residents aged 18 and older with three doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario – at 68.73 per cent.
No rain relief in sight for crews battling Metro Vancouver park fire after 'warmest September in history'
After one of the driest months on record in Metro Vancouver, Environment Canada says it will be a week to 10 days before the region sees any rain.
B.C. man who installed hidden cameras in workplace bathrooms sentenced for voyeurism, child pornography
A B.C. man has been sentenced to one year in jail for voyeurism and child pornography, charges that stemmed in part from filming his colleagues and their children with "strategically placed" hidden cameras in workplace bathrooms.
Two Vancouver medical experts are calling for more to be done to counter the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, after a fresh warning was issued about taking ivermectin.
No one was injured in a major fire that ripped through and destroyed a building that was under construction in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough just after midnight on Sunday.
Mounties in Campbell River took to Facebook Saturday to express their frustration with teenagers "seeking to incite members of the community's homeless population" in the city's downtown core.
Cyclists in Greater Victoria can get free transit from Oct. 3 to Oct. 16 by using bus bike racks or showing their bike helmets when they board.
Hateful vandalism of the Historically Orange Bridge over the Somass River in Port Alberni lasted just hours before Tseshaht First Nation members and supporters removed it Saturday morning.
Thousands of party-goers filled several streets in Halifax Saturday night as part of unsanctioned Dalhousie University homecoming events, Halifax Regional Police say.
More than 48,000 customers were still without power in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Sunday around 3:30 p.m.
Nine days after Hurricane Fiona battered Prince Edward Island, tens of thousands remain without power, but with so many downed lines, electricity isn’t the only thing that needs to be fixed.
Ontario's police watchdog lays charges against a Sault Ste. Marie Police Service officer for an incident which occurred last year.
CIBC'S Run for the Cure was hosted in many cities on Sunday, including in North Bay.
Two weeks ago, Leah Warner got the scariest news of her life.
A frost advisory has been issued for the city of London with temperatures expected to drop near the freezing mark overnight.