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Father's Desperate Search for Son Abducted by the Mother

Vyv Rodnight has put his life on hold while he searches from Lismore to Maleny in Queensland to find his six-year-old son, Sylvan.

I can only imagine at how truamatic this is for the Dad.

What would you do if you were in this situation?
The Northern Star said
Father's Desperate Search for 'Lost' Son
By Andy Parks

The Northern Star
3 April 2008

Vyv Rodnight with his son, Sylvan Kel Rodnight-Blackwood, who is missing.
Vyv Rodnight with his son, Sylvan Kel Rodnight-Blackwood, who is missing.

Vyv Rodnight has put his life on hold while he searches from Lismore to Maleny in Queensland to find his six-year-old son, Sylvan.

Mr Rodnight last saw his son on January 11 after taking him back to his mother, Marigold Blackwood. They had spent three weeks together over the Christmas break and he was due to pick up Sylvan again on February 1.

But when he arrived, Sylvan wasn't waiting out the front like he usually did.

"I tried texting his mother, thinking that maybe she was busy or asleep or something," Mr Rodnight said.

"But within about 30 minutes I just felt it - she'd done a runner."

Mr Rodnight then contacted the police, who went in and found the house was empty and had seemingly been abandoned.

Mrs Blackwood's car was still in the garage and there was no clue as to where and when she had taken their son.

"I didn't sleep for a few nights with the worry, but then I just started missing him," Mr Rodnight said.

Vyv Rodnight and Marigold Blackwood were together for five years and separated in May, 2006.

Mr Rodnight was only seeing Sylvan two nights per fortnight and he had initiated Family Court proceedings to get greater contact.

The court had given an interim order granting him five nights per fortnight and half of the school holidays. The matter was due to go back before court about now.

"When we first separated I was worried she would do something like this; she has acted impulsively in the past. But when I realised, my heart absolutely sank and my throat swelled up," he said.

Both Mr Rodnight and Mrs Blackwood lived at Castlemaine in Victoria, and his first thought was that she would have taken Sylvan to Tasmania, because she has friends and family there.

But about 10 days ago, police found a record showing Marigold Blackwood had flown to Brisbane on January 16 with Sylvan.

"She loves the North Coast area. When we were together she talked about moving here," Mr Rodnight said.

"When she was about eight months pregnant with Sylvan we travelled around here together too."

Since finding a place to start searching, Mr Rodnight has taken leave without pay from his job as a community health care worker and is planning to drive all over the North Coast and South-East Queensland putting up posters, hoping to find his son.

"I've contacted youth hostels and WWOOFING farms (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). I send posters ahead via email. I'll keep looking as long as I feel there is something useful I can do," he said.

Mr Rodnight said his ex-wife had lived 'outside of society' and would fit right in to some of the communities in the area.

"She loves that lifestyle, living off the land," he said.

"I'm not sure if she's got any contacts, but she used to go to Confest and forest blockades."

Anyone who has seen Sylvan, who is described as being approximately 110 cm tall with slender blue eyes and blond hair, or his mother Marigold Blackwood, should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000 or the Australian Federal Police on 6126 7777.
We are starting to consider our ex doing this if we are in any way shape or form "successful"; I am convinced she will do a runner.

She has relatives scattered around the country.

It's a sad thing to have to fear.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
There is a process available in the FAMILY COURT.

By memory it is a Location Order that allows enquiries to Centrelink and other authorities to be effected.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha

Location Order

A location order comes under s.67K(1).

It reads as follows:

[Persons who may apply] A location order in relation to a child may be applied for by:

A) a person with whom the child is to live under a parenting order; or

B) a person with whom the child is to spend time under a parenting order; or

C) a person with whom the child is to communicate under a parenting order; or

CAA) a person who has parental responsibility for the child under a parenting order; or

CA) a grandparent of the child; or

D) any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.

This order instructs the named persons, or a commonwealth department(centrelink) to give the court any information about the location of the child. The problem with a location order from the point of view of an SRL, is that the privacy concerns may become a stumbling block. The information is returned to the court, not the applicant. The court registrar might not release the information to you. See s.67P

How to apply

If going through the Family Court, it needs to be on a form 2 alone, if an application for a parenting order has already been made, or on a form 1 if not.

In the federal Magistrates court you file an application, requesting , 'leave be granted ex parte'. Request an order that any named private persons give information on a child's whereabouts to the court and, or that a government department(named) provides information. You must serve the government department before the court date.

The affidavit the goes with the application must state the following:

How the child's location became unknown.

What steps you have taken.

Relevant best interest considerations. State why the named parties in the location order are likely to know of the child's location.

It is best to also file a recovery order at the same time.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Yes, I'm aware of a location order. This does not help in the case above though, because Dad states that mum has lived "outside society" before.

A location order will only find you if you are drawing Centrelink.

If you are living off the land with the help of other hippies, or being funded by someone (ie Mum and Dad) there are ways that you will not be found.

I guess the person running would have to be prepared to live like this, until the other parent gave up searching so hard.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
This should be national news with heavy police involvement. I have seen these things before - media and police get VERY EXCITED when people take their children outside of agreed orders and one parent is distressed and concerned.

Can't way to see the nationwide coverage and police focus on this one. It should be cleared up very quickly with that sort of nationwide response.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Unfortunately Jon I cannot remember when the media and police have done a nationwide appeal unless the father has removed the child.

Although I agree totally there should be a nation wide appeal for the safety of the child  once located then due process can be followed.

This day and age location recovery should be a priority in regard to children.

I agree Artemis, the mother and child will be off the normal radar and it is not in her interests to consider the childs interests at this point.
Hello to all

I am the father in this case. It is indeed extremely distressing and traumatising, and I'm imagining it will feel similarly for my son.

Unfortunately my efforts at publicising his disappearance in Northern NSW and just north of Brisbane (Maleny area) have not reaped any reward - there have been no sightings. I am heading back to Victoria for now. The Federal Police assure me they are working hard on the case, but it is so frustrating having no leads, no progress. I have no idea where they are. I could try contacting organic farms outside the areas I have been in, but that is very labour-intensive (there are thousands around the country! - see for example Willing Workers on Organic Farms Australia) and, I'm thinking, not as useful as I first thought.

I hope to be able to post better news sometime in the future.

cheers

Vyv
Vyv,

I cant imagine how you must feel.

There are brothers here who care.

If you need to talk or whatever - you call me on 0424 25 45 70. OK?

Some advice if I may… hydrate, eat well and get some sleep.

4MYDAUGHTER
There are sisters here too.

You have a lot of thoughts with you.

This is not a situation that can last forever.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Having been there for a short time

I understand the anguish.

A further comment - not too long ago there was a case that made all forms of national medai when the Father took the children and were found in Tasmania. Probably one of the main reasons it received such media attention was the mother already had extensive contacts in the media.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
oneadadc said
Probably one of the main reasons it received such media attention was the mother already had extensive contacts in the media.
Actually not correct, she was a freelance technical writer for several computer magazines and her contacts were no better than the average Joe. We have the full details of this case.

We are still going to work on the 'missing children' link to go on the front page. When there is a publication order we can link to the appropriate site.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I doubt there would be a paper that had enough pages nor a news report long enough to list children being separated from fathers.

Another problem that shames every Australian government and I expect Mr Rudd will be no different except in increasing the problem. I await with baited breath.
 
Local markets and organic foodstores, as well as notice boards in alternative communities are perhaps the conduit which can inform and perhaps flush out where your son is. Those who might protect your ex-wife are unlikely to want to be in contact with authority.

Knowing of someone who has been hiding out for a long period, he is known to have other identity documents as he can receive mail in a false name. Generally there is someone who does the contact with the known community.

Importantly there is a need to appreciate that the police are are on the job, even if it not be immediately apparent. Face to face contact with the police officers is an asset. In small communities they are more pro-active when they have an opportunity to visit some of the more rejectionistic groups who pretend they are independent. To become self-sustaining takes time.

Local newspapers, oft times will give you an article if you place an advertisement. The free and alternative publications are good best options.

Having lived in such places one understands that there are many who are aware of new arrivals, especially women, and these people are not without ethics.

Often publicans and post office staff might be primed to report the presence of people to police. Their initial reaction as to new people can trigger a reaction which if tempered by your information.

Uncontested hearings are an option that even an errant mother might not like the outcomes from.

Bidding you well in your search.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
Artemis said
There are sisters here too.

You have a lot of thoughts with you.
Another sister here, thinking of you.

I could not think of anything more painful!



Backpackers are another good avenue. They travel up and down the coast doing jobs that it is possible that Marigold may do. Flyers in the backpackers also - you may even be able to email a lot of the hostels.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I am the sister of Sylvan and daughter of Marigold.

Vyv, this is a direct consequence of your actions. I had to put up with your abuse for 4 years and will do everything in my power to not let you torment my family further.

You are the one who absconded with Sylvan initially, were you not? And on Mothers day?

You were the one who shouted abuse down the phone and called up to 15 times a night. You were never willing to negotiate.

You were the one who went to court with a brief case of lies, which I might add were slowly unravelled. Perhaps, if you had a little more foresight, you would have heeded a friends warnings that your actions could have a dramatic impact. But I bet you thought that meant mum taking her own life. You underestimate her. When a person is trapped, threatened and isolated from family and friends in a town that holds no future, the only way out that they can see is to run.

You are certainly not the only one suffering here. I have lost my mother AND my brother. Oh but that's right, you don't think it's important for Sylvan to have a relationship with his sister, or his extended family, do you? It has always been about you. Well, not any more.

I know you think I'm a failure, but you obviously don't know what someone who is in pain can do. Mum might not have been able to see a way to cope with any more of you, but I will keep fighting. I promise and unlike you, I keep my promises.

Perhaps you will judge me and say that I'm being inappropriate and angry. Well the truth is I am angry, and fed up, and past caring about social niceties.

Omnia vincit Amor

Attachment
Sylvan, mother and sister
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Abusive family members only make matters worse

Looks like Vyv Rodnight has had to put up with sustained campaign of alienation and abuse from not only his partner, the mother of his son, but also from her daughter (presumably from a different father).

The response of the daughter here is a strong indicator of the abuse that Vyv must have experienced in his family, and working to take his son away from him.

There is obviously a deliberate and sustained campaign to separate the boy from the father, that involves the daughter.  This is evidenced by the posting here and the inclusion of a photo of the mother, boy and sister (daughter), posted with the intent of garnering sympathy for the mother.

Perhaps this daughter should be brought before the court and forced to reveal the location of the boy - and held on contempt of court until she does.
I completely agree that abusive family members only make matters worse. I have had to put up with one for the past six years.

And this 'daughter' has been brought in front of the court. Do you not think that if I had any idea of the whereabouts of my mother and brother, I would be so distraught?

I only want to be 16, but until I am satisfied that Vyv and my mum have come to peaceful and reconciled state, I will not rest. The truth has to be told.

Voltaire - I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
Father's have rights to see their children, except for very, very few circumstances.

If there were anything of substance the mother in this could have pushed for supervised access.

Nothing is solved by running away with a child.

What concerns me is that "formymother" is 16 and posting unsupervised on the internet on a fairly adult site.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
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