WINNIPEG — Police are expanding the search for two missing Winnipeg children and have issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for their mother.
On Wednesday, a nationwide warrant was issued for the arrest of Sandra Giesbrecht.
“I’m not going to speculate whether they are still in the province or if they have left the province,” said Const. Jason Michalyshen. “This warrant has the strength for any law enforcement agency to arrest regardless of where she is.”
Giesbrecht is alleged to have abducted or had help abducting her two children, Montana and Josh Giesbrecht.
Montana, 11, and Josh, 9, were last seen at 6 p.m. Monday in the St. James area near Lumsden Avenue.
Police said they may have received a ride from a person driving a small white four-door vehicle and it’s likely they are with their mother.
Court documents from April said “two unidentified women in a rental vehicle were recently seen taking pictures of the children’s school and all the entrances.”
In a different incident, a woman entered the school and made contact with the kids in a hallway. When approached by staff, she refused to identify herself, court documents said.
These documents also described the mother’s behaviour as “irrational” and said it “takes these threats seriously. They are disturbing.”
“We are looking into all aspects of the situation, whether there were other individuals involved that assisted,” said Michalyshen. “We want these children to be brought to a location and a safe location.”
The warrant doesn’t mean police believe the three have left the province but it allows any law enforcement agency to arrest them should that eventually happen.
Giesbrecht and her husband have been tangled in a two-and-a-half year bitter custody battle.
On Tuesday, Global News obtained court documents that expressed:
“concerns about the security of the children and fears an abduction attempt. The court finds that the mother’s behaviour is both erratic and dangerous. Her past behaviour demonstrates that she is willing to go to any means necessary to get what she wants.”
WATCH: Global News coverage of these events from Monday, June 21
“It’s very serious,” said lawyer John Schuman, who specializes in family law and custody issues. “A no contact order means no one trusts that parent enough to spend any time with that child without that parent causing harm to the child. That would be exceptionally rare. It would be an exceptionally bad circumstance.”
Only a small percentage of cases get to a point where a judge deems it to be that serious.
“Probably a tenth of one percent of cases that I would see or that the court would see would be that bad,” said Schuman.
Since the custody battle between Sandra and her husband started in 2014 there have been dozens of allegations made. Both Sandra and Montana made allegations of abuse and sexual abuse against the father. All of the allegations were investigated by police and were eventually found to be “unsubstantiated” or “false accusations.”
This one document alone is 35-pages long, however, there are more than four boxes full of files related to this case.
The court documents site experts testimony saying that:
“Since separation the mother’s behaviour has been disturbing. She continues to show unwillingness to parent in a healthy manner. Immeasurable harm has been caused to these children over the past two and a half years by the mother’s toxic conduct. She has attempted to destroy the parental bond between the children and their father.”
Police maintain they do not believe the children are in any imminent danger but did state they are concerned for their well-being and that they need to be located quickly and safely.