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Mom, Boy Who Fled Cancer Treatment Found

A woman and her 13-year-old son who were on the run from court-ordered cancer treatment for the boy are back in Minnesota, the Brown County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

"Daniel Hauser and his mother have been returned to Minnesota," according to a news release. It did not reveal any additional details, but said there would be a news conference Monday evening.

Daniel Hauser was having his Hodgkin's lymphoma evaluated by a doctor at a hospital in the Twin Cities on Monday, according to Tom Hagen, an attorney at the law office representing Daniel's parents, Colleen and Anthony Hauser.

Hagen also said Colleen Hauser was not in police custody.

Hagen said Calvin Johnson, his associate who is representing the parents, is out of town and unavailable for comment, but Johnson authorized Hagen to release those details. Hagen said he couldn't share any additional information.

A message left for Daniel's court-appointed attorney was not immediately returned.

Daniel has Hodgkin's lymphoma, a disease which doctor's say has a 90 percent chance of being cured in children if treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Without those treatments, he has a 5 percent chance of survival.

Daniel underwent one round of chemotherapy in February, but stopped after that single treatment, citing religious beliefs. The family opted instead for natural healing practices inspired by American Indians.

A judge ruled that the parents medically neglected Daniel and ordered them to get him an updated chest X-ray as well as select an oncologist for a re-evaluation. After the X-ray showed a tumor in Daniel's chest has grown, the mother and son left town.

The FBI said the pair flew from Minnesota to Los Angeles last Tuesday on Sun Country Airlines. Authorities said they were focusing their search in southern California and northern Mexico, after the pair was spotted in southern California on Tuesday. Investigators suspected they might have been heading to one of a number of alternative cancer clinics in northern Mexico.

The American Cancer Society estimates there are 35 to 50 clinics in Mexican border towns that attract cancer patients looking for alternatives to traditional U.S. treatment methods. Many of these clinics have offices in the San Diego area that serve as contact points for U.S. patients, who are then referred to clinics in Mexico.

Dr. Bruce Bostrom, the pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota who diagnosed Daniel's cancer in January, said he was happy to hear of the boy's return.

"I'm delighted," Bostrom said. "I've been so worried that he was going to die in Mexico. I've been praying for his safe return, so I think my prayers will be answered."

Bostrom was not working Monday and didn't know if Daniel had gone to Children's Hospitals to be examined.

On Thursday, Anthony Hauser appeared before reporters asking his wife to call him and to come home. "If you're out there, please bring Danny home so we can decide as a family what Danny's treatment should be," he said.

The FBI's affidavit in support of an arrest warrant for Colleen alleges she fled the state to avoid being prosecuted on two state counts of depriving another of custodial or parental rights in Brown County. The "parental rights" refer to those of Brown County family services, which was granted custody of Daniel to get him to a pediatric oncologist.

At a news conference Thursday, Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann vowed to arrange a safe return for Colleen Hauser without an enforcement action if she shows "a good faith effort to come back."