Video: Father says teen with cancer, mom may have left country

updated 5/21/2009 3:18:45 PM ET 2009-05-21T19:18:45

A new arrest warrant was issued Thursday as the search continued for the mother who fled with her 13-year-old cancer-stricken son to avoid chemotherapy treatments.

Colleen Hauser's son, Daniel, has Hodgkin's lymphoma. The two from Minnesota were seen in Southern California on Tuesday morning and authorities have said they could be in Mexico.

"Hopefully we'll find Daniel, for Daniel's sake," Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann said Thursday.

The Brown County Sheriff's Department said that the new warrant for the mother is for deprivation of parental rights. An earlier arrest warrant was based on a contempt of court charge.

Brown County Attorney James Olson said the county has taken custody of Daniel to get him to a pediatric oncologist.

"If she comes back today or tomorrow I would dismiss it," Olson said of the charges. "The reason was not to punish her."

Hoffman said he hopes the pair is still in the U.S. Authorities said they didn't know what can be done if the Hausers have reached Mexico.

Authorities believe the mother and son fled Monday after a court-ordered X-ray showed a tumor in Daniel's chest was growing. Doctors have said the tumor will likely kill Daniel without conventional treatment, but Colleen Hauser favors healing methods of an American Indian religious group known as the Nemenhah Band.

Hoffmann said Hauser's husband, Anthony Hauser, was cooperating with investigators.

The new warrant gives law enforcement agencies in other states the authority to detain Hauser if the two are found. But authorities said they didn't know what could be done if the Hausers have reached Mexico. Hoffmann said he hopes the pair is still in the U.S.

"I just wish we could get to Colleen and tell her to come in," Hoffmann said. "This is not going to go away. It's a court order."

Hodgkin's lymphoma is a highly curable form of cancer when treated with chemo and radiation. But the teen and his parents rejected chemo after a single treatment, with the boy's mother saying that putting toxic substances in the body violates the family's religious convictions.

Image: Colleen Hauser and her son, Daniel Hauser
Kyndell Harkness  /  AP
Colleen Hauser, left, smiles at her son Daniel as they answered questions from the media in New Ulm, Minn. on May 8.
Hauser said she had been treating the boy's cancer instead with herbal supplements, vitamins, ionized water and other natural alternatives — a regimen based mostly on information she found on the Internet.

Anthony Hauser said Wednesday that his wife and son left without telling him their plans, and that he hadn't heard from them.

James Olson, the attorney representing social service authorities in Minnesota, originally asked the judge to cite the father for contempt of court, but later backed off and said he believed Hauser didn't know where his wife and son had gone.

An alert issued to police departments around the country said mother and son might be traveling with a California lawyer named Susan Daya. Daya didn't return telephone messages Wednesday.

When asked Thursday if the reported citing of the Hausers in southern California included Daya, Sheriff Hoffman said he had no comment.

The alert said they might also be with a Massachusetts man named Billy Best, who as a teenager in 1994 ran away from home to escape chemotherapy for cancer similar to Daniel's.

Best, who says he was cured by natural remedies, is supporting the family's effort to avoid chemo for Daniel but said this week he hasn't talked to the mother and son since they fled.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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