A Somerset mother and her three year old son have gone missing following a court ruling that the boy should live with his father.
Thirty-five year-old Rebecca Minnock left her home in Highbridge with her son Ethan two weeks ago. Police have tried to locate the pair but have so far been unsuccessful.
The identities of people involved in care cases like this one are usually withheld from the media by reporting restrictions. However, on Tuesday Judge Stephen Wildblood removed the restrictions on this case. While this is a highly unusual step, the judge said it was taken in order to help find them.
Speaking at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Wildblood said it was “really important that we work together – the court and the press – to find where this child is”. He added that “any assistance by the press in finding out where [Ethan] is will be gratefully received”.
Ethan’s parents separated in early 2013 and Ethan remained in his mother’s care. A month after the separation, the boy’s father, Roger Williams, launched legal proceedings in order to see him.
The court found that Ms Minnock had obstructed contact between him and his son. As a result, a district judge ruled that Ethan should live with Mr Williams.
A description of Ms Minnock and Ethan has also been released to help the search. She is about 5ft 3in tall, of medium build and has shoulder-length, dark, wavy hair. Her son Ethan is blond with blue eyes.