- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NEW ULM, Minn. (AP) | A 13-year-old cancer patient and his mother, who fled Minnesota last week to avoid court-ordered chemotherapy for him, returned voluntarily Monday, and the boy was evaluated by a doctor, according to a sheriff and the family’s attorney.

Daniel Hauser was “immediately checked over medically” when he and his mother arrived on a charter flight at 3 a.m., Brown County Sheriff Rich Hoffmann said.

He did not say where the pair went after missing a court hearing last Tuesday, prompting a nationwide search, or whether Daniel received medical treatment for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma while they were gone.

“It is a good day as Daniel and Colleen Hauser have been safely returned to Minnesota,” Sheriff Hoffmann said.

Because Mrs. Hauser returned voluntarily, a warrant for her arrest was lifted, and Sheriff Hoffmann expected a federal fugitive arrest warrant also would be dropped. Daniel was in his parents’ custody.

Daniel was evaluated at a hospital in the Twin Cities on Monday, said Tom Hagen, an attorney at the law office representing Daniel’s parents.

Mr. Hagen said that Calvin Johnson, his associate who represents Daniel’s parents, is out of town and not available for comment, but authorized Mr. Hagen to disclose that information about the Hausers.

A message left for Daniel’s court-appointed attorney was not returned Monday.

Phone messages left with the Hausers on Monday evening were not returned, and two sheriff’s vehicles blocked the road to their home in Sleepy Eye.

Sheriff Hoffmann said Jennifer Keller, a lawyer from Orange County, Calif., contacted the sheriff’s office Sunday and said Mrs. Hauser wanted to bring Daniel home. Sheriff Hoffmann said a charter plane was donated by Asgaard Media of Corona, Calif.

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,” he 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.”

Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a 90 percent cure rate in children if treated with chemotherapy and radiation, but doctors say Daniel has a 5 percent chance of survival without those treatments.

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 to select an oncologist for a re-evaluation. After the X-ray showed that a tumor in Daniel’s chest has grown, the mother and son left town.

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