Hamilton

Missing girl at centre of Amber Alert found, mom arrested: Niagara police

A nine-year-old Ontario girl has been found safe following an Amber Alert, and her mother has been arrested.

Allana Haist charged with abduction in contravention of a custody order

Layla Sabry, 9, of Welland, Ont., was reported missing on Dec. 1. She was found safe, police said Monday, and her mother was charged. (Niagara Regional Police)

A nine-year-old Ontario girl has been found safe following an Amber Alert, and her mother has been arrested.

Niagara Regional Police say Layla Sabry and her mother Allana Haist were found safe and in good health early Monday in Hamilton, Ont. 

Haist, 38, was charged with abduction in contravention of a custody order. She is expected to appear in court in St. Catharines this morning. Layla is being taken care of by her maternal grandparents.

Police issued a Canada-wide warrant for Haist last week after they came to believe that Layla was abducted as part of an ongoing custody dispute. The girl was reported missing since Dec. 1. An Amber Alert was issued the next day.

Staff Sgt. Paul Rogers told CBC News that police believe Sabry wasn't in danger.

Police said they were operating under a court order to return the child to her father, Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb, an Egyptian businessman. 

There was a custody hearing set for Dec. 2, both sides confirm, but Haist did not attend.

Since Sabry's disappearance, Haist and Abdel-Mottaleb, through their lawyers, have levelled accusations against one another regarding the custody issue and describing a history of conflict over the child. 

Abdel-Mottaleb released a statement through his attorney, after the Amber Alert was issued, pleading for his daughter's safe return, saying, "I love my daughter very much and just want to be able to see her again." 

Haist's family sent CBC News a statement through her lawyer, Nathalie Fortier, saying Haist is "a loving mother" and her relatives believe she "chose instead to run and hide," rather than attend that family court date.

A supporter of Haist posted a Facebook page asking friends and family to come to a different courthouse, in Welland, Ont., on Monday afternoon for "a show of support for our brave daughter and granddaughter."

The page says: "We are so proud of our daughter, who has done everything in her power, and continues to do so, in order to protect her daughter. We welcome your support."

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