The five children from Jordan, Ont., who were the subject of an Amber Alert on Tuesday have been found safe, police say.
Police said in an update Wednesday afternoon that investigators stopped the father in the Ridgeway area of Niagara Region, west of Fort Erie. Officers said the children, who range between five and 14 years old, were found a short time later.
“As a result of that stop, they were able to locate the five children in a nearby rental cottage,” Const. Phil Gavin told reporters.
“The children are all in good health. They are going to receive a medical assessment nonetheless.”
Gavin said officers received information about the vehicle the man, who was identified as Ian MacDermid, was driving as a “direct” result of the Amber Alert being issued, thanking the public for tips as the investigation continued.
“It’s important to note the system did work and it has brought a peaceful resolution to the situation,” he said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, police said MacDermid was not under arrest.
Global News attempted to speak with MacDermid, but he declined an on-camera interview. However, he said the matter is a misunderstanding and that the children were on vacation.
The Amber Alert was first issued by the Ontario Provincial Police at the request of Niagara Regional Police just before 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The alert expired more than five hours later.
Police said on Tuesday the children were last seen in Jordan, west of St. Catharines. Officers alleged the children were taken from the family home by MacDermid sometime between Sept. 19 and Sept. 25.
Gavin defended the use of the Amber Alert amid questions about the timeline surrounding the disappearances of the children.
“We stand by the investigative steps that we took and what we took was for the welfare and safety of the children,” he said, adding decisions around Amber Alerts are made in “good faith.”
“The Amber Alert is not a simple and easy step that anyone undertakes. We impact millions of people across this province and that is not a step that is undertaken lightly.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing and that interviews still need to take place. It is not clear what, if any, charges will be laid in connection with the investigation.
— With files from Shallima Maharaj