Hoang Vinh Le: AFP searching for missing toddler left in care of a stranger at a Sydney cafe

Daryna ZadvirnaThe West Australian
Hoang Vinh Le at 10 months.
Camera IconHoang Vinh Le at 10 months. Credit: Australian Federal Police/AFP

Police have issued a desperate appeal to find a 17-month-old toddler allegedly left with a stranger his parents met at a Sydney coffee shop earlier this year.

Hoang Vinh Le was allegedly taken from his grandmother’s Canberra home by his parents Hoang Thanh Le, 28, and Lyn Kim Do, 21, on April 9.

Ten days later, a court ordered the couple to return the boy to his grandmother but the AFP says this order had “not been complied with”.

The pair told authorities they gave their child to a woman they had met at a Sydney coffee shop named Kathy Nguyen. and paid her $200 to care for him.

Police arrested the boy’s parents in May, but officers are yet to locate him.

Authorities have also not been able to locate or identify the woman the parents said had received the child, the Australian Federal Police and the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia said in a statement on Friday.

“The parents have not provided sufficient details to enable the police to identify the person who they say is caring for Vinh,” the statement said.

“Authorities have not been able to confirm whether the person who may be caring for the child is known by ‘Kathy Nguyen’ name or exists at all.”

Police are concerned for the child’s welfare after being unable to locate him for so long, prompting the unusual public appeal.

They have also warned anyone who is knowingly withholding information on his welfare location may be contributing to a criminal offence.

He was last seen at a medical practice in the Canberra suburb of O’Connor, where he was reportedly put into a silver Isuzu SUV.

Members of the public who can help are urged to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000 and quote AFP reference number 6365180.

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