Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - On Wednesday evening, the family of 41–year–old James Nordrum Junior came together in hopes of shedding light on the man they call a loving father.
"Hopelessness has set in after much of his resources and options seem to have been exhausted. He would never harm his son—he is an excellent father," said Amy Hill, who is seven–year–old Wyatt's cousin, and designated family spokesperson.
According to Hill, the only harm done thus far was the alleged inaccuracy in initial reports from Saint Louis County Officials: "James never made the statement that he would hurt Wyatt. This was due to irresponsible reporting by the St. Louis County Officials."
According to Hill, Wyatt is in the midst of what the family calls a bitter custody battle between Nordrum and Wyatt's mother, Candice Nordrum—from as early as February of 2011. Hill claims that Candice, who has been living in Fort Francis, Ontario, didn't hold up to her end of a compromise that would keep Wyatt—who has special education needs—in school while she had custody until September 2011.
James Nordrum has a criminal history—ranging from methamphetamine possession to fleeing a police officer in both 1998 and 2006—which, according to the Nordrum family, is a result of his depression.
"James is a Post–Gulf War Veteran, and his mental illness is that he suffers from depression," said Hill.
Court records show that Nordrum had full custody of his son until this week. A week ago the court established an agreement that waived James custody rights. That change in custody stemmed from allegations made by Candice's attorney—that James had planted drugs and a gun in Candice's car allegedly in an attempt to discredit her.
Following that court hearing James took his son and fled.
"He is prone to discrimination due to society's lean toward females being more fit for full custody," said hill, emotionally.
According to Terri Port Wright, James Nordrum's attorney, while her heart goes out to Nordrum and his family, her main concern is with Wyatt.
"If I could tell Jim anything, it would be to stay safe, and to return Wyatt so that everyone can ensure that Wyatt is safe, as well, because he's just a little boy," said Port Wright.
...which, according to Hill, is the family's top priority as well: "Wyatt's safety is everyone's top priority, and has been so since his mother's first flee from the country with him."
According to Attorney Port Wright, she has no idea where initial reports came from in regard to Wyatt's safety, as she has never seen or heard anything that would indicate Nordum would ever harm his son.