Convicted of faking her own death, a Canadian author pleads guilty

A renowned Canadian author entered a guilty plea subsequent to being charged with the alleged abduction of her son and the fabrication of their demise.

A prominent search for Dawn Walker, an indigenous woman from Saskatchewan, was initiated after she was reported missing during the summer of 2022.

Two weeks later, she was discovered unharmed in the United States state of Oregon with her son.

Walker, 49, has stated that she was escaping domestic violence at the time of her disappearance. She was subsequently accused by the police with nine offenses, including parental abduction, identity fraud, and passport forgery.

Initially, she entered a not-guilty plea in the case. Walker, however, pleaded guilty to three charges in a Saskatoon court on Thursday: parental abduction against the terms of a custody order, possession of a fraudulent document, and passport forgery.

Prosecutors and her attorneys have both petitioned the judge for a 12-month conditional sentence, which would entail community service and 18 months of probation.

At this time, Judge Brad Mitchell is tasked with determining the ultimate penalty. Saskatoon Police initially received a complaint of Walker's disappearance on July 24, 2022.

At that moment, officers reported that she had not been seen since July 22, two days prior. According to them, portions of Walker's belongings and her Ford F-150 were discovered in Chief White Park, Saskatchewan, which heightened concerns that she and her child had been victimized.

Following an extensive search spanning two weeks, during which authorities searched the South Saskatchewan River, Walker and her child were located in Oregon City, over 1,600 kilometers (more than 1,000 miles) distant, according to a police announcement dated 5 August 2022.

By monitoring her bank transactions for gas, food, Netflix, and Airbnb rentals, they had been able to trace her.

US authorities arrested Walker on two counts of identity theft, one misdemeanor and one felony. After being sent to Canada, she faced new charges and her US case was suspended. Walker was also detained temporarily and her infant was taken.

Walker stated in a court application obtained by the sources earlier this year that she was a victim of intimate partner and domestic violence and that the Saskatchewan authorities failed to protect her.

Walker issued a statement to the media at the time, facilitated by an acquaintance, in which she stated, "I was left with no alternative." "I was not heard," she declared, extending an apology to all those who were offended.

Prior allegations lodged by Walker, according to Saskatoon police, were thoroughly investigated but no charges were brought.

She was granted parole, and her trial was originally slated to commence on 20 November and continue until January 2024, prior to her pleading guilty.

Additionally, Ms. Walker retained one of Canada's most renowned attorneys, Marie Henein, to represent her.

Walker, whose professional trajectory extends beyond a decade, is a renowned indigenous advocate and author in Canada, better known by her stage name Dawn Dumont. 

Walker further asserted that racism and the enduring repercussions of colonialism, particularly in the province of Saskatchewan, demand international and national consideration.

Walker further discussed her time spent in a temporary correctional facility, remarking that she observed the preponderance of indigenous women in her vicinity.