NEWS

Hunt Intensifies For 2 Men In Case Of Chained Teen

09/27/2012 07:55 EDT | Updated 11/27/2012 05:12 EST
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The mother of one of two Nova Scotia men accused of forcibly confining and sexually assaulting a teenage boy is pleading with him to turn himself in.

Violet Leblanc's son, David James Leblanc, is the focus of a major investigation after a boy in chains escaped from a house in Upper Chelsea.

It's alleged Leblanc, 47, and Wayne Alan Cunningham, 31, held the boy against his will.

On Thursday, Violet Leblanc told CBC News she last saw her son on Monday, just hours before the teen escaped the house. Leblanc said her son wanted to borrow money to buy gas, and one of her other sons gave him $20.

Leblanc said her son had been working in Halifax as a painter. She said the whole family is hoping he will turn himself in to the authorities.

Boy in chains

As RCMP in Nova Scotia continue their search for two men, the man who says he helped the victim is telling his story.

Terry Frauzel was in his Upper Chelsea home Monday when he heard a knock on the back door just after 7 p.m. Frauzel said a young man was outside.

"He was obviously in distress," he said. "I thought he had been in an accident because he didn't know where he was. I thought he had amnesia."

Frauzel said the boy was dressed in just a hooded sweatshirt and a hat.

"He said he had been held by two men for two weeks."

Frauzel let him in the house and asked how he could help.

"He said, 'Do you have bolt cutters?' Then he showed me. He had been hiding them. He had chains on his wrists and his ankles."

Frauzel said he was stunned when he realized what was going on, and became angry that anyone would do that to a teenager. He said the chains were loose enough that the boy was able to walk more than one kilometre to Frauzel's home.

"But one of the chains was really, really tight around the wrist. He said that was because he had escaped before and this time they really wanted to make sure he couldn't get the chains off."

Frauzel's wife went to get the boy clothes while he cut the chains off. Frauzel clearly remembers the boy's reaction when the chains came off.

"Once I cut him free, he was so grateful. He said, 'I'm finally free of those things.'"

The boy then asked Frauzel to drive him to a house in Bridgewater, and the man learned a few more details about what had happened. The boy told Frauzel he ducked in and out of the woods during his escape, fearful that his captors would find him.

Frazuel said they had to call the authorities but the boy asked him not to. According to Frauzel, the 16-year-old said the captors would hurt his friends and family if he told his story.

At no point did Frauzel ask for details about what happened during the teen's captivity.

"I just wanted to help him. I couldn't help him enough. I was glad to be able to."

People at the house in Bridgewater later took the teen to the hospital.

Search continues

The police announced the charges Wednesday against David James Leblanc, 47, and Wayne Alan Cunningham, 31.

RCMP Sgt. Alain LeBlanc said police received a call from a "local citizen" on Monday around 7:15 p.m. about "a 16-year-old male asking for assistance."

LeBlanc said a preliminary investigation indicates the boy was held in a house in Upper Chelsea, Lunenburg County, about 125 kilometres southwest of Halifax, against his will, but refused to elaborate.

"As you can appreciate, it's a complex investigation."

Police said the 16-year-old was taken to hospital and is safe. The police said the boy was of no fixed address.

Forensic identification units have spent two days searching the house. On Wednesday, police searched all cars driving in the area.

The house, 174 Faulkner Rd., is owned by Mark Kenny. Kenny is a custodian at North Queens Regional School with the South Shore Regional School Board. The board confirmed to CBC News that Kenny is not at work but is being paid "while the situation is being reviewed."

Accused have history

Both accused have criminal records.

They were convicted in Bridgewater in November 2006 of theft, breaking and entering, fraud, forgery and possession of stolen property.

David James Leblanc currently faces charges of making and distributing child pornography, sexual assault and sexual interference involving two boys aged two and five.

The allegations span several months and communities: July 5, 2010, in Dartmouth; June 1-Aug. 31, 2010, in Liverpool; Sept. 1-Dec. 1, 2010, in Lequille, Annapolis County.

The conditions of his release include that he must stay away from the internet, children and the communities of Liverpool and Lequille.

He's scheduled to be in court for those charges Nov. 26.

On Thursday, police asked people to look out for two vehicles:

- A 2003 grey Hyundai Elantra, licence plate FBP 233.

- A 2002 brown Chevy Venture, licence plate EZG 581.

Police are asking anyone who sees the men not to approach them, but to call authorities.

LeBlanc said both men have lived in the Halifax and Lunenburg County areas.