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Father of boy abducted in 2011 not notified of Hopley’s escape from halfway house

The father of a boy abducted in 2011 by a man who is now wanted on a Canada-wide warrant says he’s incredulous the repeat offender could walk away from a Vancouver halfway house.

Paul Hebert says in a written statement that police did not notify him or his family that Randall Hopley went missing on Saturday after removing his electronic monitoring bracelet.

Hebert, who now lives in Alberta, says Hopley was also released from custody just two weeks before he abducted his three-year-old son from the family’s home in Sparwood, B.C., in 2011.

Hebert says while he doesn’t have “all the answers,” he believes that the “justice system isn’t working” if it allows Hopley to be placed in a situation where walking away was a possibility.

Hopley, who is 58 years old, went missing just days before he was scheduled to appear in court to face charges for violating his release conditions.

Vancouver Police say Hopley likely took “deliberate actions” to avoid the court appearance when he told several people that he was going to a nearby thrift store before disappearing.

Hopley has a history of convictions for assault, property offences and sexual crimes that include three offences against children.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press