Aunt fears suspect in abduction won’t co-operate
Missing boy, 22-months-old, remains subject of province-wide search

Jul. 2, 2005. 05:39 PM


KITCHENER — The family of a missing child who is the subject of an Ontario-wide search says a man detained by police is not co-operating with the investigation.

Police arrested Shawn Palmer, 36, late last night at a house in Kitchener, but have yet to find Donovan Clubb, 22 months, also known as Donnie, who has been missing from his Chatham home since Thursday.

“As far as we know (Palmer is) not even talking,” said the boy’s aunt, who declined to give her name, saying only she is the sister of the child’s mother, Courtney Catton.

The toddler’s alleged abduction triggered an Amber Alert on Thursday that lasted until yesterday morning.

Catton’s sister confirmed today that Palmer was her sister’s boyfriend but is not the boy’s father.

She added that Palmer has children of his own.

Palmer has been returned to Chatham but Kitchener police Staff-Sgt. Chris Downey said it’s still up in the air as to whether Palmer was responsible for the apparent kidnapping.

“(Palmer’s name) went out along with the Amber Alert of the child and it was thought that it was possible the child was in his company,” he said.

Chatham-Kent police said today they were questioning Palmer, but declined to divulge what the interrogation has revealed.

“Shawn Palmer is the last person we have any knowledge (of who) was with him that we can confirm,” said Jack Chambers, Chatham-Kent deputy chief of police.

“We still have people out interviewing people, canvassing the neighbourhood; we are in touch and getting assistance from Waterloo Regional South Central police and Barrie police.”

Catton made a tearful plea for her child’s safe return at a media conference yesterday.

She is staying with her sister, who also lives in Chatham, and her sister was adamant today that regardless of what Palmer tells police, Catton’s relationship with him is over.

“They’re not going to be a couple anymore,” said Catton’s sister.

“Shawn seemed to be a great guy, he’s older, educated, turns out that it doesn’t look like it anymore.”

She added that there is a current “a domestic situation” between Catton and the missing child’s father, but would not go into specifics.

“He doesn’t even know where they live,” she said, adding that she didn’t think the boy’s father had anything to do with Donovan’s disappearance.

Police would not reveal how they found Palmer, but they said the Kitchener-Waterloo and Barrie areas were targeted because it’s known Palmer has associates in those regions.

Chambers said although the child was not with Palmer, he still has faith the child would be found safe.

“Until something comes up, my mind is set that we will.”

Amber Alerts are issued when a police believe a missing child is in serious danger.

The alerts are shown on electronic highway signs and lottery kiosks.