Australian police fear for welfare of baby whose parents claim they left with woman in shop 2 months ago

Australian police fear for welfare of baby whose parents claim they left with woman in shop

Police say they cannot verify that the person the infant was reportedly left with actually exists.

Australian police have issued an appeal for the whereabouts of a baby whose parents claim to have left him with a woman at a shop in Sydney.

The parents of 17-month-old Hoang Vinh Le allegedly removed him from his grandmother’s care in Canberra back in April, later telling authorities that they gave him to a woman in a shop in Sydney who they paid $200 to in May.

However, police say they are concerned for the child's welfare and cannot verify this woman, who the parents named as "Kathy Nguyen," actually exists.

"The parents have not provided sufficient details to identify the person who they say is caring for Vinh," the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia said in a statement on Friday.

"Authorities have not been able to confirm whether the person who may be caring for the child is known by 'Kathy Nguyen' or exists at all.”

The Age reports that a court order is in force requiring the boy to live with his maternal grandmother.

Authorities located and questioned his parents, Hoang Thanh Le and Lyn Kim Do, in May but have yet to find the child.

Ms Do was, according to ABC Australia, jailed for seven days in contempt of court earlier this year after failing to adhere to a court order that her son be returned to the care of her mother.

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She indicated in an affidavit back in August that she did not want her son to be looked after by her mother, claiming it wasn't a "safe, happy and clean environment".

She said the woman she gave her son to was a "friend" and the boy's godmother.

"He's currently at a delicate age of one where he will need a lot of attention, love and care from his parents, which I could not provide due to fearing the authority would come to my doorstep and snatch my child from me," she said, per ABC reports.

"She’s his godmother and is a good person. She is willing to help me look after my son when she found out about my situation."

Ms Do said the boy was in a "safe location" with the woman but that she did not want to "find out" this location in fear of authorities tracking him down.

ABC reports that Ms Do was again charged with contempt two weeks ago for allegedly withholding information about her son's whereabouts in a "flagrant" challenge to the court.

Authorities have appealed for anyone who has any information on the infant's welfare or location to contact Crime Stoppers, warning that knowingly withholding information may be contributing to a criminal offence.