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Sheriff appeals to on-the-run teen and mom: Come home

Colleen and Daniel Hauser

The lead investigator in the disappearance of cancer patient Daniel Hauser and his mother directly appealed to her this afternoon to come back.

"The main thing I want to say is Colleen Hauser should come home and talk to us," Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffman said Wednesday afternoon. "We just want to talk to her and Danny."

Hoffman said the 13-year-old's name has been entered into the database of the national Missing and Exploited Children's Network and that his office has been receiving tips about the case from throughout the nation.

Daniel Hauser's father said earlier Wednesday he believes his son and his wife have left the country, but won't say where he thinks they have gone to keep out of reach of authorities.

"I have an opinion where they are, but I can't say I know," said Anthony Hauser, adding that he has placed a call to a telephone where he believes he can reach them.

Hauser specifically said he does not believe Daniel and Colleen Hauser have fled to Canada. The mother and son have fled to avoid having the boy be forced to undergo the chemotherapy that doctors believe is his only hope to survive cancer.

Wednesday night, authorities said the mother and son were in California as recently as Tuesday and might be going to Mexico to get treatment, adding the tip is based on "reliable information."

Hoffmann said authorities think the pair is somewhere between Los Angeles and the Mexican border, but he said law enforcement have not had contact with them. Hoffman said it's believed the pair is heading to an area just south of San Diego.

Daniel has Hodgkins lymphoma, 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.

Colleen 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.

The Hauser family had been ordered to appear before a judge Tuesday for a hearing to consider chemo. But mother and son failed to show, and a warrant was issued for the mother's arrest.

In court on Tuesday, Anthony Hauser testified that Colleen Hauser does not have a credit card and he doesn't believe she took checks from the family checkbook when she left their farm near Sleepy Eye late Monday afternoon and disappeared, defying a court order for the family to report back about a treatment plan for Daniel.

Anthony Hauser said he last spoke to his wife about 4 p.m. Monday as he milked cows at the family farm near Sleepy Eye. He said his wife told him she was going to leave and "That's all you need to know."

He said today he believes his wife "made a spur-of-the-moment" decision to go into hiding.

Alternative medicine advocates in Minnesota weighed in Wednesday on the Hausers' side of the dispute, arguing that by employing alternative treatments, "the body can heal itself." The Minnesota Natural Health Coalition and two other groups issued a press release, arguing "everyone has the right to make their own choices about the health care that they wish to pursue and parents have the right to make these decisions for their children."