The mother of Violet Bennett, the seven-year-old Cowichan girl who is missing along with her father Jesse Bennett, said she and Jesse have never gotten along, but at least they both share a love for their daughter.
But Roget Jade Hall, who has identified herself as Violet’s mother, said in a statement that she now fears for the safety of Violet, who has been missing since Jan. 20.
“I have no idea where she is, if she’s okay, or if she’s even with [Jesse],” Hall said.
“As a mother, I don’t know how to handle this situation, I feel shattered, broken and numb to everything.”
On Jan. 20, Victoria Family Law Court set out a Joint Custody agreement and ordered Jesse to return Violet the same day to Hall, but police and family have since been unable to contact either Jesse or Violet.
The pair were formally reported missing from Bennett’s home in North Cowichan on the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 23.
“We believe that Jesse Bennett is actively evading police and is in breach of the custody order, requiring him to return Violet to her mother,” said Sgt. Trevor Busch of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.
Hall said she has seen Violet just three times since Oct. 7, even though a court order stated that she and Bennett share custody.
Hall said that, unfortunately, the court order was not police enforceable, but she knew Violet was safe in North Cowichan with Bennett even though Bennett wanted to pull his daughter out of school due to the mask mandates, something Hall refused to allow, so she took the time to go through the right court channels to get her back.
“On Jan. 20, a judge ordered that I have custody of Violet Monday to Friday each week, and Jesse would have her [on weekends], and that day she was to be returned to me ASAP,” Hall said.
“Lucky enough this time it was deemed necessary to have our court order police enforceable to make sure this never happened again. Unfortunately it has led to this. I didn’t want it to get this far. I just wanted my daughter back with me and return to her normal life. People seem to think it’s only been the last six days that I haven’t seen her because it’s only the last few days I’ve been able to have the police involved.”
Hall said she missed Violet’s last birthday and Christmas because Bennett wouldn’t let her see her daughter.
“I only got to see her for three days over New Year’s, but Violet had to stay at my mother’s house during those days because Jesse wouldn’t let her sleep at my home,” she said.
Hall said all she can do is ask Bennett to bring Violet back to her.
“Before, at least I knew she was safe with Jesse,” she said.
“There was minimal contact, but at least Jesse responded sometimes.”
Jesse Bennett is a white man, 36-years-old, 5 foot 10, 160 pounds, with blue eyes with a beard and brown hair, or possibly a shaved head or wearing a hat.
Violet Bennett is a white girl, approximately 4 feet tall, weighing 50-60 pounds, with blue eyes and big natural curly hair.
If you have information about Bennett or Violet’s whereabouts, contact the police in your jurisdiction, or the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.