June 25, 2016 - 9:00 PM
WINNIPEG - Police in Winnipeg say a woman who has been charged with abducting her two children fled officers with her kids inside the vehicle and one point even collided with a police cruiser.
The 44-year-old mother was eventually arrested Friday with her children after abandoning the Ford Expedition she was driving and fleeing on foot, police allege.
Police announced on Friday afternoon that Montana Giesbrecht, who is 11, and Josh Giesbrecht, who is 9, were both found safe after investigators believed they were abducted by their mother earlier in the week.
Officers had issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Sandra Giesbrecht and pleaded with her to contact them.
Const. Jason Michalyshen says investigators believe the mother and children were in Winnipeg the whole time, and that there's evidence to suggest the mother may have been disguised.
Giesbrecht remains in custody and has been charged with two counts of abduction without a custody order, as well as flight while being pursued by a peace officer.
Neither the charges nor the police allegations against Giesbrecht have been proven.
"She did make contact with one of our cruisers causing some damage not only to the vehicle she was operating, but one of our cars. She was able to evade us briefly," Michalyshen said about Friday's pursuit.
"When we talk about a pursuits, we're not necessarily talking about high speeds or necessarily erratic driving. We were certainly concerned for her safety and for the safety of the children," he said in a phone interview.
Michalyshen said police are still trying to determine who owned the Ford Expedition. It wasn't her's, he said, and may have been borrowed from a friend.
Police began searching for the children after they were last seen being picked up in a four-door white vehicle on Monday. At that time, police said they believed they were picked up by someone they knew.
An Amber Alert was never issued because police said they didn't have a detailed enough description of the vehicle, but a warrant for Sandra Giesbrecht was issued on Wednesday.
On Thursday, police spoke directly to Giesbrecht at a news conference, urging her to contact them.
Michalyshen said it appears the area where the mother and children were spotted and eventually stopped on Friday wasn't far from where they were last seen on Monday.
He said police quickly looked after the children.
"In very short order they were able to engage with them and even have a few chuckles. So that was very positive for us to hear and see," Michalyshen said.
Reuniting the children with their family will be a everyone's high priority, Michalyshen said.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016