A Canadian woman is encouraging "other families with missing children and loved ones not to ever, ever give up hope" after being reunited with the son she chased for 31 years. "The words, 'Your son is alive. We found him'—that is breathtaking," Lyneth Mann-Lewis said at a Monday press conference in Toronto, describing an emotional reunion with 33-year-old son Jermaine Mann, whom she last saw as a 21-month-old on June 24, 1987. Authorities say Mann's father, a dual citizen of Ghana and Canada, was living in Toronto when he fled to the US with his son during a court-ordered weekend visit, per the CBC and Canadian Press. The pair allegedly lived under false identification, including Texas birth certificates, in New York City and North Carolina before they were traced to Connecticut in August.
Interviews with relatives and friends revealed Allan Mann Jr. had assumed the name Hailee DeSouza and was living in subsidized housing in the Hartford suburb of Vernon, federal authorities say. The rouse confirmed with a fingerprint match, 66-year-old Mann was arrested Friday on charges of making false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, per the Hartford Courant. He may also be extradited to Canada to face an abduction charge, per the Canadian Press. Previously unaware of his alleged abduction, Jermaine Mann was on Saturday reunited with the mother he'd been told died decades ago. "I squeezed his head. I wanted to feel if he [was] real," Mann-Lewis says, per CTV News. "He hugged me and he kissed me" and "said, 'Oh mommy, you have my eyes.'" (A girl's 2007 abduction may finally be solved.)