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Tales from a PI: Toronto Child Custody Investigation

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When parents divorce or separate, it can make the child custody battle a tough endeavour for parents, families, and friends. It’s never an easy decision to part ways, and it’s even harder to do so with children. We have grown to become the go-to firm for child custody situations throughout Ontario as we cover the entire province. We have offices in Toronto, Mississauga, Scarborough, Brampton, Aurora, London, Barrie, North Bay, Ottawa, Sudbury, Timmins, and Thunder Bay with investigators throughout the province. Our private investigators possess the necessary skills, compassion, and experience to complete child custody cases. Not all investigators can fit the mold of the varying types of investigations that we are contacted about. For instance, an insurance investigator who deals with fraud on a daily basis may not have the same kind of knowledge on a domestic (infidelity, adultery, or cheating spouse case) as an investigator who deals with those cases more often. Although we do insurance-related files, we spend a significant amount of time working with lawyers and families directly with divorce and child custody situations. We have extensive knowledge and understanding of the Family Responsibility Office (F.R.O) and Children’s Aid Society (C.A.S.)

Child Custody Investigations

Below is a story with some fictional and some factual events during a child custody investigation that was completed. (Names, dates, and locations have been altered for client’s safety)

On a Wednesday morning, the phone rang, and Vicky (the client) was inquiring about a private investigator in Toronto. She explained her situation: her husband was dating a female (who she did not know), and the female had alleged drug use, prostitution, and possible gang affiliations. Vicky naturally did not want this woman around her children. We discussed the case at great length and decided surveillance was the best option, After having all the facts and understanding the situation, we found it best for the type of investigation to use female private investigators. Female investigators tend to blend into their surroundings better and in some cases produce better results.

On the first day of surveillance, we did not see anything that appeared suspicious or out of line in any way. However, on the second day or surveillance, Vicky’s ex-husband Joe departed the residence in the morning without the two children. The children are not supposed to be in the care of anyone else at all. We briefly followed Joe to ensure there were no children in the backseat of the vehicle. Joe attended a shopping plaza and a gym before returning to the residence leaving who with the kids? As we were following Joe, our secondary investigator remained positioned in front of Joe’s house, and nobody arrived or departed. Joe then came home and was seen through the open blinds in the home getting the children ready. He left the area with the children shortly after, but it was apparent that the children (7, 5, and 2) were home alone during the times he was shopping and at the gym.

We remained on the subject throughout the day where he would stop at various stores, shopping centres, and even fast food restaurants where he would exit the vehicle and leave the children inside with the car turned off and windows up. To be safe, one of our investigators remained right next to the vehicle to ensure the children were safe inside should Joe stay away from the children for an extended length of time (the temperature was approximately 19 degrees Celsius). After an afternoon of errands and shopping, Joe and the children returned to the residence. It was documented that Joe was an extremely dangerous driver, especially with the kids in the vehicle (our dash cams recorded his reckless driving).

As per the client’s instructions, surveillance had discontinued. and our investigators had met at a nearby park to discuss the day’s events. While situated in the park, we noticed a male who appeared to be the subject. As this was at approximately 11:00 p.m. at night, we immediately took cover in the park and were able to get closer to the subject discretely. As our company only uses the best investigators and equipment, we had our night-vision cameras and obtained clear video of the subject sitting on a bench in a park purchasing marijuana from an alleged drug dealer. The subject had left his children at the residence and walked nearly three blocks to buy drugs. Our investigators remained on the subject and followed him to his residence. The front windows to the house were partially opened, and it was clear the female who is not supposed to be around the subject or the children was in the residence. Joe and the female were seen on the couch from the front window, and they appeared to be rolling a joint and smoking marijuana.

The following morning the subject departed the area with the female (let’s call her Susie), and they attended a local coffee shop for approximately 35 minutes. Next, they attended a private residence (known for drug and gang activity) before returning to the residence shortly after. During our investigation, the children were left unattended in the house multiple times, they were placed in harm’s way with a reckless driver, and when they returned to Vicky’s care they had not received proper hygiene while in the care of the father. The children also claimed they had not eaten at times.

With the evidence that was compiled against Joe when we turned out evidence over to the client and spoke with the C. A. S. worker, it was very clear Joe was not a fit or safe parent at the time. The client was issued full custody and Joe was only to have supervised visitations. Although the client had to pay out of pocket to have investigative services, she said at the end it was the best money she had ever spent as she knew her children were safe and not going to be in any further dangerous situations.

If you have a similar case and you are terrified that your children are in the care of someone that should not be with them, or you believe your former partner is with someone who may be physical, emotionally, or sexually abusing your children, allow The Smith Investigation Agency to help. We never want to see children in harm’s way, and we will get the best results with the evidence obtained. The Smith Investigation Agency: start with trust. We exceed your expectations, not your budget.

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