National authorities are calling for the public's help to find a missing 17-month-old baby taken from Canberra and who is reportedly with a person who police say may not exist at all.
The Australian Federal Police and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia said Hoang Vinh Le, born on June 21 last year, was allegedly removed by his parents Hoang Thanh Le, 28, and Lyn Kim Do, 21, after court orders were in place for the baby to live with his maternal grandmother since April 19.
The parents have told authorities that on about May 19, they gave the child to a person they identified as "Kathy Nguyen", someone they had met at a coffee shop and had paid $200 to care for the child.
Police arrested the parents on May 20, but the child was not found and has not been seen since despite police efforts.
"The parents have not provided sufficient details to enable the police to identify the person who they say is caring for Vinh," the AFP and the court said in a joint statement.
"Authorities have not been able to confirm whether the person who may be caring for the child is known by 'Kathy Nguyen' name or exists at all."
The court made an order on April 19 for Vinh to be returned to the care of his maternal grandmother, but that order has not been complied with.
The order remains in effect as Vinh's location and the identity of the person who is with him are currently unknown and authorities are concerned for his welfare.
Vinh may been in the following areas of NSW: Cabramatta/Bankstown, Liverpool, West Wyalong, Temora and Wagga Wagga.
The court said the child was last seen at a medical practice in the Canberra suburb of O'Connor on April 9.
"The child was reportedly put into a Silver ISUZU MU-X 4WD with the NSW registration CF72YI," it said.
"The child has not been seen since this time; however, he may have been taken to the Temora area from April 9 onwards."
Police said anyone who is knowingly withholding information concerning the welfare or whereabouts of the child may be contributing to an offence.
Anyone who has seen or may have information regarding the whereabouts of the child are asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, quoting AFP reference 6365180.
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