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Updated: 7th January 2019 02:23

Dad heads to Arizona for reunion with missing son

A Kamloops, B.C., father is travelling to Arizona, where he is expected to reunite with a son allegedly abducted seven years ago by the child's mother.

Garrett Taylor holds his son Valor in a photo taken before the child vanished. A Kamloops, B.C., father is travelling to Arizona, where he is expected to reunite with a son allegedly abducted seven years ago by the child's mother.

During a stopover at the Calgary airport Friday, Garrett Taylor said he was anxious to see son Valor Heath Howell again.

"We are going to be a family again, it's going to be really great," said Taylor, who was set to reunite with son on Saturday after missing a connecting flight in Calgary.

"He is concerned about where his toys are, I heard that, so we brought him a lot of toys."

The boy was first reported missing on Dec. 1, 2004, in Grand Forks, B.C., which is close to the U.S. border and about 350 kilometres east of Vancouver.

During the first years the child was missing, Taylor said he fell into a depression.

"It was devastating, it was like a death in the family almost," he said, adding he tried to stay strong for his older daughters. "Every Christmas and birthday that would go by would break your heart."

Son found in a laundromat

His son was discovered on May 29 in a Chandler, Ariz., laundromat after police received a call about a woman creating a disturbance.

When police arrived and questioned the woman, 51-year-old Jamie Howell, they discovered she was connected to a missing child report and the child with her was the victim, according to an Arizona media report.

Howell was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, the report said.

Jamie Howell, 51, is in police custody in Arizona. (Chandler, Ariz., police)

Taylor said he was "floating on cloud nine" when he learned his son had been found and has stayed in touch with social workers in Arizona.

"They said he is doing quite well. He knows I am coming and he is looking forward to seeing me. He remembers my other two daughters – he is quite excited about seeing them. He is a little nervous about seeing me because of the negative things he has heard, but victim services is very good at trying to erase that and build me up."

Taylor, who travelled without his now teenage daughters, said he will follow Valor's lead when it comes to their reunion.

"You just want him to grab him, and hug him and tell him you're his dad and you love him, but social services said – and I agree  – that you should take it slow, go at his pace."

Taylor has a room ready for Valor in his Kamloops home and he hopes his son will soon feel comfortable with his sisters, make new friends, go to church and eventually school.

"To any other parents out there looking for their children: Don't give up," said Taylor.

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