Vancouver Province

Last Updated: Friday 17 August 2001

'I'll stay in jail forever to keep my child safe'

Adrienne Tanner
The Province

Andrew Jacome with his mom Jenny in a family photo taken earlier this year.

Ric Ernst, The Province
Marlon Amaya wants to see his son.

Vilma Alvizuris, ... wanted by police

Vilma Jacome says she will remain behind bars indefinitely to keep the whereabouts of her five-year-old son Andrew a secret.

The 27-year-old mother, who goes by her middle name Jenny, has been locked in Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women since early July.

"I'm losing track of time, but it must be over a month right now," she said yesterday in a telephone interview.

She is charged with contempt of court because she refuses to turn the boy over to his father, Marlon Amaya, who was granted interim custody last August.

The couple split when Andrew was three months old.

Jacome, a wisp of a woman who claims she has never had so much as a school detention, says it hurts to be separated from her son.

"It's killing me more than it's killing him. But I know it's the best thing for my baby. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be doing this."

At a court appearance Wednesday, Jacome was upbraided for attempting to "dictate conditions of the court."

Jacome says she simply wants a chance to tell a judge her side of the custody story.

The interim custody order was granted when she was out of the country and Jacome claims she was never served with a notice to appear in court.

Amaya contradicts that claim and says his former common-law wife has been avoiding him and the police all year.

She gives few reasons for her drastic action.

"I must have some very serious concerns about the safety of my child in the hands of his father. That's pretty much all I can tell you right now."

Police believe the boy is in hiding with Jacome's mother, Vilma Alvizuris, a 47-year-old provincial financial aid worker.

Burnaby RCMP have issued an arrest warrant for Alvizuris and are focusing their search in the Nanaimo area.

"We are looking toward northern Washington and we have covered our bases with respect to the airports . . . and our borders," said Const. Phil Reid.

Jacome will not confirm or deny the police theory. "I'm going to protect him as much as possible. The best way I know how, right now, is by keeping himself in a safe place for the time being."

She says she has had no contact with her mother since she has been in jail.

Meanwhile, Amaya says he can not understand Jacome's motives. She has nothing to fear, he says.

"Social services came to my place and the RCMP checked my record. They found nothing wrong."

Amaya says he has no criminal record. "And I'm not involved in drugs, or anything like that."

He believes Alvizuris may try to sneak Andrew across the border to hide out with relatives in the United States.

"Hopefully, he'll come back soon. That's what I'm waiting for."

Jacome has won the support of Kari Simpson, who heads the Citizens Research Institute and is a long-time critic of the Children and Families Ministry.

She believes Jacome was not properly served and that Judge Judy Raven made a mistake when granting interim custody to Amaya.