Man charged with abducting daughter arrested in Victoria

A man charged with abducting his four-year-old autistic child and leaving her in Indonesia was arrested early Tuesday in Victoria.

Brent Erskine appeared in Victoria provincial court Tuesday afternoon and was released on $5,000 bail with conditions not to contact the child’s mother, Agustina Wulandari, or his daughter Samantha.

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Judge Lisa Mrozinski ordered Erskine to surrender his travel documents and passport and to obey a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. He is also prohibited from possessing firearms.

Evidence heard at the bail hearing cannot be reported because it is under a publication ban.

Two weeks ago, Victoria police held a news conference urging Erskine to turn himself in at a Canadian embassy.

Police said that under a vacation agreement with Wulandari, who is a landed immigrant from Indonesia, Erskine was supposed to take Samantha to Vancouver for a week on June 30. Instead, they travelled to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Through the efforts of family members and police, the child was eventually dropped off with her maternal grandparents in Jakarta.

Erskine is believed to have travelled to Singapore to renew a visa, police said.

Police became involved when Samantha wasn’t dropped off as planned and her mother contacted them. Victoria police have been in contact with RCMP and Global Affairs Canada to try to bring the child back home.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said in a statement they are aware of an international child-abduction case in Indonesia.

“Canadian consular officials are in contact with the child’s family in Canada and are providing consular assistance. Consular officials in Jakarta, Indonesia, are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information,” the statement said.

Wulandari told reporters she became concerned when her ex’s behaviour around communicating with her daughter began to change.

On July 7, she contacted him to see if they were back in Victoria, but he said they were not.

She reported her daughter as missing on July 8 after receiving an email from Erskine saying that he and Samantha were in Jakarta.

Crown counsel approved charges of abduction and failing to obey a court order on July 24.

Erskine is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 4.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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