Three kids abducted from Clarington last year found in Manitoba, missing once again

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Published June 18, 2024 at 2:58 pm

Astrid Schiller
Astrid Schiller, believed to have kidnapped her three sons from Clarington, was breifly arrested by the RCMP at a Manitoba border crossing.

Three missing Clarington children were found with their mother in Manitoba nearly six months after she allegedly abducted them.

Durham Regional Police announced Astrid Schiller, then 54 of Clarington, was believed to have kidnapped her own children (Leon, 11, Christopher, 10, and Thomas, 9) back in December 2023.

Police launched an investigation into the Schillers’ whereabouts, though they did not believe the kids were in any danger. At first, Schiller cooperated with investigators. Though they couldn’t find her, investigators were in contact with Schiller.

Numerous filings were made with Children’s Aid and Family Court during this time. However, communications ceased in January. As a result, they issued a warrant for Schiller’s arrest on three counts of child abduction and breach of a court order.

At around 2 a.m. on June 16, witnesses reportedly saw Schiller and the kids at the International Peace Garden Border Crossing. The crossing connects the towns of Boissevain, Manitoba and Dunseith, North Dakota. It is one of two 24-hour crossings in Manitoba.

RCMP officers responded to the crossing and arrested Schiller on the Durham Police warrant. The boys were taken into care immediately at a home in Forrest, Manitoba, about an hour and a half north of the border crossing. The town sits just over 200 kilometres west of Winnipeg.

However, the Durham Police warrant was not a Canada-wide warrant and therefore did not apply in Manitoba. As a result, the RCMP had to release Schiller.

The next morning around 1:30 a.m. the boys were once again reported missing from the Forrest home. RCMP investigators believe Schiller has abducted the boys once again.

According to Durham Police, the RCMP has taken over the investigation, though Durham police remain on hand to help as needed. Schiller is driving a white 2018 Mercedes GLC with British-Columbia licence plate “SJ9-75W.”

Schiller has been linked to several far-right political groups associated with the 2022 Ottawa convoy. According to Press Progress reporter Luke LeBrun, Schiller was a member of  “Stand4Thee,” a “pseudo-legal” far-right fringe movement linked to the convoy and an unfulfilled plan to occupy police stations.

(Press Progress is a left-leaning news website run by the Broadbent Institute, founded by former Oshawa MP and NDP leader Ed Broadbent.)

Stand4Thee has vocally opposed “gender ideology” in schools, much like former Durham District School Board trustee Linda Stone. The group is referring to policies to protect students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

SOGI 123, as it’s called, is an advocacy group mostly based in Alberta and British Columbia. However, Stand4Thee and Schiller campaigned against SOGI involvement in the boys’ Clarington school.

LeBrun reports Schiller discussed her concerns with the school and principal in a Stand4Thee meeting. During this meeting she complained of a questionnaire one of her sons filled out, the raising of a Pride Flag and gender-neutral washrooms. In a later meeting, she described these as, “a demonic war, this is Satan’s playground.”

Anyone with information can call the RCMP at 204-726-7522, Durham Police at 905-579-1520 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477

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