A six-year-old boy missing for almost a week was unlawfully taken by his mother, police believe.
Fears are growing for Phoenix Mapham – believed to have been last seen being driven away in a car by his mother Tessa Woodcock – in Weston Creek, Canberra at 1.30pm on Thursday.
Ms Woodcock does not have custody of her son.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Detective Station Sergeant Harry Hains appealed directly to the boy’s mother and said police had serious concerns for son’s safety and well-being.
An amber alert has been issued for Phoenix Mapham (left), who is believed to be with his mother Tessa Woodcock (right)
‘Tessa, we need to know your son is OK,’ etective Hains said.
‘We are talking about his health, we are talking about his safety.
‘You need to bring him to a place where we can verify that you are taking care of him.
‘That could be a hospital, a doctors’ surgery, a health facility or a police station.’
Phoenix’s father Cliff Mapham (pictured right) last saw his son (pictured left)when he dropped him off at Orana Steiner School on Thursday – and said his main priority was ‘to know if he’s safe’
Mr Mapham described his son as a ‘very caring boy who would always go out of his way to help if someone was upset’
Police searching for Phoenix and his mother have issued the ACT’s first ever amber alert.
The code is used to find children in abduction or high-risk missing child cases.
The boy’s father Cliff Mapham, who hasn’t seen his son since he dropped him off at Orana Steiner School on Thursday, issued a desperate plea for him to be brought home.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Mapham said: ‘I just want to know if he’s safe, that’s my main priority’.
He described his son as ‘a very caring boy who would always go out of his way to help if someone was upset’.
Police believe Phoenix could be in a blue Subaru Forester with a broken rear window and damaged bonnet.
That car’s possible registration is YKP08U.
Officers say they are in either the Australian Capital Territory or New South Wales – potentially in the south coast region.
‘Phoenix is not in the lawful custody of his mother and police are seeking to locate him as there are serious concerns for his well-being,’ a police spokesman said.
Anyone with information is urged to call ACT Policing on 02 6256 7777.