Suspected child abductions lead to standoff, highway closure in southern Manitoba

Police say two young children are safe after an alleged abduction led to a standoff in southern Manitoba on Monday. A number of people are now facing charges in connection with the melee.

Steinbach RCMP say the children, both under the age of two, were allegedly abducted by their biological parents following a supervised visit in the Rural Municipality of Hanover. Officers were called around 10:45 a.m. and told the suspects were headed to the Roseau River area.

Police caught up with the parents at a home on Road 29E in the RM of Emerson-Franklin, but say three officers were immediately met by a group of eight people who attacked them outside the home.

The outnumbered officers were able to arrest two suspects and to get away without injury, but police say the remaining suspects returned to the home and continued to threaten police.

Because the children were still inside the home amid threats of violence, police cordoned off the area, closing a section of Hwy 59, while police backup rushed to the scene.

With help from the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team, police made their way into the home around 6 p.m., arresting the remaining suspects.

The parents, a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, both from Steinbach, are charged with parental abduction and resisting arrest.

The other six suspects, including a 50-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman from Roseau River, and four males aged 16, 17, 19, and 24, all from the RM of Emerson-Franklin, remain in custody and will face various charges, including assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, assault with a weapon, and abetting parental abduction.

Steinbach and Morris RCMP continue to investigate.

Roseau River is roughly 83 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg.

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