'We are all hurting as a family': Grandmother of Amber Alert toddler speaks
EDMONTON -- The grandmother of the child and mother of the man at the centre of an Amber Alert in Alberta last week has spoken out, asking the public to be kind at Christmastime.
The Amber Alert was issued early Friday morning. Police said Cody Armstrong, 41, had taken his 14-month-old son from a home in the Hinton area, and that there had been an altercation between Armstrong and the boy’s mother, who were said to have an “on-again, off-again relationship.”
The alert was in effect for about 14 hours before Armstrong and the child were found unharmed in his home in Brule, Alta., about 280 kilometres west of Edmonton.
Armstrong has been charged with choking while committing an assault, uttering threats, mischief under $5,000, unauthorized possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Family speaks out
Dena Greanya is Armstrong’s mother and the grandmother of the child at the centre of the alert. She spoke to CTV News Edmonton on Christmas Eve about her family, and their concerns in the wake of the Amber Alert.
She said police cancelled the alert on Friday without telling the family what had happened.
"We were told that we would have information. They said they would keep us informed," she told CTV News.
"We were waiting to hear, and waiting to hear. The Amber Alert got cancelled, and those few minutes seemed like an eternity, because we didn’t know if they had shot my son, or if my grandson was alive or what had happened."
CTV News has reached out to the RCMP for comment.
Fortunately, both Cody and her grandson were unhurt. She said the toddler is doing well after the ordeal. She was able to take him swimming with her other grandchildren over the weekend.
"We all went together as a family, all the kids."
"We got to play; I got to smoosh his chubby little cheeks."
Greanya said she wants to make it known that she and her family are supporting not only her son, but her grandson’s mother as well.
"She’s the mother, no matter what’s happened. Two wrongs don’t make a right," she said.
"It doesn’t matter what’s going on, we’re going to support that mother."
She hopes people will think twice about posting unkind comments on social media about either of the toddler’s parents without knowing the details.
"As soon as there’s anything negative at all, people jump on it," she said.
She also talked about her son, who she says has been a volunteer firefighter for over 25 years.
"He would be that one who would go in and save your children, or your family member. He would not hesitate to do that."
Greanya will be celebrating Christmas Eve in her home on Tuesday night with all of her grandchildren. Her son is still in custody.
"I haven’t been able to talk to him," she said.
"I don’t even know where he is right now."
She hopes her story will remind people that family is precious.
"It’s Christmastime, and I just want to people to hug their loved ones and hold on to them."
Greanya has also written an open letter to the public about the Amber Alert. The full letter is posted below.