US & Canada

Randall Hopley arrested over Kienan Hebert's kidnap

Randall Hopley
Image caption Randall Hopley was found by police at a remote industrial site in Alberta province on Tuesday

A convicted sex offender who is suspected of abducting a three-year-old boy in Canada and then returning him to his family's home has been arrested.

Kienan Hebert vanished last week in British Columbia and was brought back days later, after an emotional appeal by the family to the alleged kidnapper.

The accused, 46-year-old Randall Hopley, was found by Royal Canadian Mounted Police hiding near a quarry.

The abduction and manhunt has gripped the nation.

After the boy was found missing on Wednesday morning of last week, a massive search was launched in woods near the family's home in Sparwood.

Doors left unlocked

An Amber Alert was issued, naming Hopley as a possible suspect.

As the search stepped up, the Heberts' home was left empty with doors unlocked in the hope that Kienan might be returned.

On Sunday morning, a day after the parents made an emotional appeal for their son's safe return, the child was found, apparently unharmed, asleep on an armchair in the living room.

Police said they suspected that Hopley had brought him back.

The manhunt was extended to the neighbouring province of Alberta, and police found Hopley at a remote industrial site on Tuesday morning.

Kienan's father, Paul Hebert, told Canadian media: "We're happy for the community, relieved for the community."

Hopley has a string of criminal convictions and was jailed in 1985 for a sexual assault.

In 2008 he was imprisoned after breaking into a house in Sparwood and attempting to snatch a child.

Sparwood Mayor Sharon Fraser told Canadian media: "This is one of the hardest lessons all of us have had to learn, that we can't leave our doors unlocked and we can't let our children just run."