Fears for missing boy snatched by mum
A MOTHER who is believed to have unlawfully snatched her six-year-old son in Canberra six days ago is being urged to contact police - who have now become gravely concerned over his safety.
"We need to know that your son is OK. We need to see him," Detective Station Sergeant Harry Hains told reporters in Canberra.
Police are seriously concerned about the wellbeing of Pheonix Mapham, who was last seen at about 1.30pm last Thursday in a car with a woman believed to be his mother, Tessa Woodcock.
Ms Woodcock does not have legal custody of her child and she is suspected of dragging the child from the playground of his Canberra chool.
He was last seen in a 1999 Holden Vectra sedan being driven by a woman in the Canberra suburb of Weston Creek.
The pair are thought to be in either the ACT or NSW, but authorities have issued an amber national alert appealing to the public to help find the boy. It's the first time ACT police have issued such an alert and they say Ms Woodcock should not have custody of Phoenix.
Phoenix's father, Cliff Mapham, said he was terribly worried about the wellbeing of his young son.
"Please help to find my boy," he wrote on Facebook. "With each passing day the concern for his safety and wellbeing grows.
"He is out there somewhere, being hidden from police, confused and scared, and he needs to be brought back to the safety and stability of his loving home.
"I just pray for his safe return and hope that everyone understands the severity of what has happened here. His face is not all over the news just for kicks. He is at great risk. Help me find my little boy."
The boy and his mother could also be travelling in a blue Subaru Forester with a broken rear window.
Sergeant Hains said he hoped Ms Woodcock would take her son to a hospital, doctor's clinic or police station to verify she is taking care of him.
"We are talking about his health. We are talking about his safety," he said.
The detective could not comment on the child's custody arrangements but stressed he was taken unlawfully.
"I urge you Tessa, I urge you to get in contact with us and bring Phoenix in. We do not issue amber alerts lightly.
"The concerns we have at the moment is around his physical health and his emotional care."
- with wires