Niagara Regional Police said Wednesday morning that Ian MacDermid was “observed within the Niagara Region” at 5 p.m. Tuesday driving a 2002, red 4-door Toyota Camry with Ontario licence plate CJMB 976.
Cops noted “the children were not with him at the time.”
Police say the 49-year-old took the children from the family home in Jordan, west of St. Catharines, sometime between Sept. 19 and Sept. 25, in contravention to a temporary custody order.
An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday afternoon but has since expired, though the children remain missing. Police credited the alert for the new information on MacDermid.
Evalyn, 5, is described as a 3-foot-8 Asian female with long black hair and a medium build; Mattias, 10, a 4-foot-8 Asian male with light-brown hair and a small-to-medium build; 11-year-old Sovereign, a 5-foot-2 heavy-set Asian female with long, black hair; Eska, a 13-year-old Asian female, 5-foot-1 with a medium build and long, brown hair; and Magnus, 14, a 5-foot-6 Asian male with a medium build, glasses and black spiky hair.
Investigators say they’re concerned for the safety of the children.
When asked why an Amber Alert was issued when the suspect was believed to have taken the children nearly two weeks ago, Const. Phil Gavin said police were only made aware of the situation recently.
“In the past 24 hours, the children were reported missing to the Niagara Regional Police,” he said during a Tuesday evening press conference.
“As a result of an investigation by our child abuse unit, concern for their safety and welfare became apparent.”
Gavin declined to elaborate due to the nature of the investigation.
The family, he said, had previously lived in the Toronto area.
“They certainly would have a friend that worked there, or family there — so that’s part of the ongoing investigation that our detectives are looking into,” he said.
Gavin said more information may be released as the investigation continues.
MacDermid is described as a white, 6-foot male with blonde hair and blue eyes, between 265 pounds and 280 pounds.
Anybody who spots them or has information on their whereabouts is asked to call 911.