Manhunt for Teen and Mom Fleeing from Cancer Treatment

Father says Mom got scared by her son's cancer X-rays and fled the country.

ByABC News
May 20, 2009, 4:29 PM

May 20, 2009 — -- A woman who fled with her cancer-stricken son may have left the country in search of a natural remedies therapy, her husband told ABC News today.

Colleen Hauser and 13-year-old Daniel of Sleepy Eye, Minn., disappeared after a court rejected the boy's request to refuse chemotherapy treatment for his Hodgkin's lymphoma disease. Doctors believe Daniel will die without the treatment.

Authorities had said they believe Colleen and Daniel could be with a Massachusetts' man who fled his own chemotherapy treatment in 1994, according to The Associated Press.

Billy Joe Best was 16 when he fled to Houston to escape treatment for Hodgkin's disease, according to the AP. He returned home only after his parents promised that they would not force him to have the treatments. Best claims to have beaten cancer by using natural remedies.

Calls made by ABC News to the Best residence in East Bridgewater, Mass., were not immediately returned.

But late today the AP reported that Best denied he was with Hauser and her son, saying that he had not spoken to them since they fled.

"All we're asking Colleen to do is come in and do what the court order asks," said Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffman.

Authorities said the fugitives do not own a car and don't believe they could have left Sleepy Eye without help. They say they are following "any and all leads" and have been receiving tips from across the country.

Hoffman said that authorities do not have a specific vehicle they are looking for.

Anthony Hauser said that he believes his wife Colleen saw X-rays of Daniel that made her scared and prompted her to flee, missing a court appearance Tuesday.

Hauser has been cooperating with police, but Hoffman declined to speculate on the "sincerity of the information."

Daniel's name has been added to the the database of the national Missing and Exploited Children's Network, said Hoffman, who hopes the move will help spot the teen if he attempts to cross a border.

Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg, who had ruled last week that Daniel's parents were medically neglecting him, issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Colleen Hauser and ruled her in contempt of court. Colleen and Daniel Hauser are now the subject of a nationwide dragnet.