National authorities have renewed appeals for help locating a 17-month-old Canberra baby whose parents allegedly met a woman in a coffee shop and gave her $200 to care for the child.
Hoang Vinh Le was just 10-months-old when police first appealed for assistance.
Born on 21 June 2020, Vinh was removed from the care of his maternal grandmother on 9 April 2021 in Canberra by his parents Hoang Thanh Le, 28, and Lyn Kim Do, 21.
The parents told authorities that on about 19 May 2021, they gave the child to a person they identified as ‘Kathy Nguyen’ – someone they allegedly met at a coffee shop and had paid $200 to care for the child.
However, in a joint statement, the Australian Federal Police and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia said authorities have not confirmed whether that person even exists.
The child was last seen at a medical practice in O’Connor on 9 April. Vinh was reportedly put into a Silver ISUZU MU-X 4WD with the NSW registration CF7 2YI.
The parents were arrested on 20 May 2021.
However, the child was not located and has not been seen since, despite police efforts.
The authorities say the parents have not provided sufficient details to enable police to identify the person they say is caring for Vinh.
They have not been able to confirm whether the person who may be caring for the child is known by the name ‘Kathy Nguyen’ or exists at all.
The Court made a recovery order on 19 April 2021 for Vinh to be returned to the care of his maternal grandmother, but that order has not been complied with.
The recovery order remains in effect as Vinh’s location and the identity of the person who is with him are currently unknown, and authorities are concerned for his welfare.
Vinh may have been in the following areas of NSW:
- West Wyalong
- Temora, or
- Wagga Wagga.
Anyone who is knowingly withholding information concerning the welfare or whereabouts of the child may be contributing to an offence.
Anyone who has seen or may have information regarding the whereabouts of Vinh is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, quoting AFP reference 6365180.