U.S. dismisses charges against Saskatoon mother accused of faking deaths

A United States court has dismissed charges against a Saskatchewan woman accused of faking her death and that of her child before they crossed the border. 

Dawn Walker was given a one-year conditional sentence in Saskatoon court last Thursday, after she pleaded guilty to charges of forgery and abduction.

The following day, the U.S. Attorney’s Office asked a district court in Oregon to dismiss her charges there, saying it was in the interest of justice based on Walker’s plea and sentencing in Canada. The court granted the motion. 

Walker had been facing two charges in the U.S. related to identity fraud for allegedly crossing the border with fake identification.

Walker and her child were reported missing in July 2022, after her pickup truck was found near a river at a park south of Saskatoon. Some people feared the pair drowned, and a vigil and searches were organized.

U.S. authorities found them two weeks later in Oregon City, Ore.

Provincial court Judge Brad Mitchell said last week that Walker’s plan to flee with her child was well conceived, well organized and carried out over several months. He said she caused “immense trauma’” to family, friends and the public.

Mitchell accepted a joint recommendation for the sentence from Crown and defence lawyers, which included 18 months probation and 300 hours of community service. Walker cannot have contact with her child without supervision and must stay in Saskatchewan.

Walker is an acclaimed author and also worked for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. 

After she was returned to Canada, Walker’s lawyers and relatives alleged she was a victim of domestic violence. However, the child’s father said he would never hurt her or the child.

“I apologize to my friends and family for the pain and suffering that I have caused them,” Walker said in court Thursday.

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