Mom Reunited With Kids After 8-Month Search

Grace Bjarnson is reunited with her two children, who went missing last summer.

Feb. 23, 2009 — -- When Utah mother Grace Bjarnson was reunited with her young son and daughter in Pennsylvania Friday, it marked the end of a heart-wrenching eight-month search for her children.

"I love you sweetheart. I'm sorry I'm crying. It's so good to see you," an emotional Bjarnson said to 4-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old Noel.

Bjarnson's saga began July 18, when her soon-to-be ex-husband, Dwayne Frederick Brown, failed to return the children after a scheduled visit. Bjarnson, who believes her estranged spouse has mental health problems, spent days — then weeks and months — fearing for her children's safety.

"It was really rough. Sometimes I had to take it day by day, sometimes minute-by-minute," Bjarnson said. "Even if you don't know when you're going to see your kids again [you] just hope that it's going to happen someday and you're going to be ready for them and you're going to have a happy place for them to return to and a strong place."

In December, Brown was caught trying to cross the Canadian border with forged documents, and law enforcement issued a warrant for his arrest. Photos of Daniel and Noel were sent to police departments across the country.

Two months later Lancaster, Pa., residents spotted a man walking along a road with two children who were underdressed for the bitter cold weather, and they called the police.

Authorities found the trio on U.S. 30 near Lancaster.

Bjarnson Wants Brown to Get Help

"He got a sense there was something wrong and physically took him into custody, took the children back, requested the photographs from the national center of missing and exploited children and was able to physically compare. He compared their photograph with the physical look of the children," said Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder.

Now that Bjarnson has been reunited with her children, she said she wants them to one day have a relationship with their father.

"I really hope that he gets some help because, you know, I want him to be able to talk with his children. I want him to be able to play with them and I want him to have a relationship with them of some kind without me never being able to see them again," Bjarnson said.