A mother has pleaded for help after accusing her British husband of abducting their three-year-old twins in France.
John Patterson, 46 and originally from Coventry, disappeared with Ava and Mia after splitting from their mother, Aleksandra Pietrasiewicz, 32.
Prosecutors in Metz, eastern France, have issued a warrant for his arrest and believe he might have taken the children from his home in the city back to Britain.
Searches have taken places around Mr Patterson’s flat in Metz, but there has been no sign of him. The professional photographer’s mobile phone has been disconnected, and he has shut down all social media accounts.
Ms Pietrasiewicz has set up a Facebook page showing pictures of her girls, and Mr Patterson, and is now urging people to watch out for them.
A mother has pleaded for help after accusing her estranged British husband of abducting their three-year-old twins Ava and Mia (pictured) in France and taken them to the UK
John Patterson (left), 46 and originally from Coventry, disappeared with Ava and Mia after splitting from their mother, Aleksandra Pietrasiewicz (right), 32
Police in Luxembourg City have confirmed that they briefly arrested Mr Patterson on March 31, but then he was released.
Ms Pietrasiewicz said: ‘The police had their hands on him but did nothing, even though the children were already registered on a missing persons file.
‘John’s home in Metz is empty and there is no trace of his vehicle. There is a risk that he has moved with the girls to the UK or to another European country.’
Ms Pietrasiewicz added: ‘John needs to think about the girls first – and start to think like a dad and not a child abductor.
‘The life of our children is at risk, and he should think about that before he thinks about himself.
‘The girls have very poor health, they were born at 29 weeks old and weighed just over 1kg each so they are very little.
Ms Pietrasiewicz has set up a Facebook page showing images of her girls (pictured), and Mr Patterson, and is now urging people to watch out for them
Prosecutors in Metz, eastern France, have issued a warrant for Mr Patterson’s (left) arrest and believe he might have taken the children (right) from his home in the city back to Britain
‘I believe my children could be in danger, both with their physical health and psychological danger because they have hardly ever been separated from me, except for a couple of days.’
A source involved in the investigation said Mr Patterson had not been seen for three weeks since being allowed a weekend with the children.
‘The mother has sole custody of the girls, but Mr Patterson had access rights. He is accused of using them to take the girls away towards the end of March.’
The source added: ‘The twins were born prematurely in Nancy, and they regularly need antibiotics.’
A spokesman for Metz prosecutors confirmed that ‘a judicial enquiry’ has been opened, and a European arrest warrant issued.
Judicial police are involved in the hunt for Mr Patterson and his daughters.