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Heartbreak as father's reunion with son ends abruptly

Brief encounter: Father and son Giovanni Burrow and Jasai Swan-Burrows at a US airport where they were briefly reunited a few days ago after nine years apart.

Heartbroken father Giovanni Burrows has had to return to Bermuda alone after finally being reunited with the son he’d spent nine years searching for.The dedicated father’s hopes of bringing his boy home were cruelly dashed just hours after coming face-to-face with 13-year-old Jasai Swan-Burrows.US authorities had put Jasai in his father’s care but his mum Kim Sakena Swan tracked him down and mother and son once again disappeared. They fled just prior to a court appearance to discuss legally transferring Jasai back to Bermuda.Mr Burrows has been relentless in his efforts to find his son since Ms Swan left Bermuda and headed to the United States with him in January 2003. Mr Burrows was awarded full custody of his son in 2001, but Ms Swan fled when she had temporary custody of Jasai.Mr Burrows, who was due to fly back to Bermuda last night, is said to be “absolutely devastated.” However, he has vowed to continue the fight to get his son back.Mr Burrows wrote on his son’s Facebook support group page: “Sorry to inform you, whilst in court my son and his mother eluded authorities and are gone. At least I’m glad to have sat down with you all night talking and getting to know you … This is too much for me.”Family friend Sonja Baptiste said the whereabouts of Ms Swan and Jasai were once again unknown.She said: “This is definitely the worst incident he’s (Mr Burrows) has had to go through.“We’ve had so many false alarms over the years and he didn’t want to get his hopes up, but then he finally came face-to-face with his son.“After nine long years he finally got to see his son and touch his son, he was so happy. He thought they were coming home together.”A fundraising campaign has now been launched to help Mr Burrows pay for a private detective to go door-to-door to look for Ms Swan and Jasai. It comes after Mr Burrows, who works for Marine and Ports, spent all his savings on the nine-year search for his son.Jasai is listed as missing by Interpol and by the US National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Mr Burrows has worked with Bermuda and US police and also applied for the return of Jasai under the international civil treaty: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.An anonymous tip-off to the support group gave details of Ms Swan’s online criminal record for theft. This led police to track down Ms Smith and Jasai at a homeless hostel in St Petersburg, Florida early last week.Ms Swan, who is Bermudian, now also has a daughter, who has been fathered by an American.Ms Baptiste said: “We had to move quickly and quietly to track them down as they were living in charitable homes and homeless shelters.”Mr Burrows flew to Florida and managed to spend quality time with his son on Thursday evening. Father and son were reunited at the airport, then “talked all night” at the home of Mr Burrow’s lawyer. They cried in each other’s arms and also got the chance to go swimming together.Jasai was described as a “very polite and bright boy” and Mr Burrows told him how much he was loved and explained his Bermuda family history to him.Mr Burrows then said his goodbyes to Jasai, as he had to make his way to his court appearance on Friday morning.But Ms Swan did not present herself to the court and it was discovered that she had tracked down her son, who had been staying with a family friend, and once again fled with him.Ms Baptiste said: “Somehow the mother managed to locate Jasai and escorted him from what was thought to be a secure location.“She had the opportunity to talk to him and persuade him to leave. She’s his mother and she obviously possesses a lot of emotional power.“He’s a 13-year-old boy and this must be very confusing for him. He is probably very protective over his mom and his little half-sister and he probably didn’t want to get into trouble.”Mother and son are now on the run again and fears are growing for their whereabouts as Ms Swan has “no car, no apartment and no money” and is said to be “emotionally distraught.”But Mr Burrows has had to come back to Bermuda to return to work. His partner is also expecting a baby.Ms Baptiste said their priority was to complete the paperwork to get an extradition request proving that Ms Swan unlawfully removed Jasai from his father’s custody.Donations to help fund Mr Burrow’s search for his son can be made to HSBC, account number 010-465235-012.Further information can be found on the ‘Find Jasai Burrows’ Facebook support group.