Kienan Hebert, with green balloon, plays with siblings and friends safely back at home in Sparwood, B.C., after being dropped off by his abductor in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2011.
Credits: MIKE DREW/QMI AGENCY
And as the anniversary of the day their boy was stolen approaches, the Hebert family remain thankful he was returned and hopeful his abductor will get the help he needs.
"He talks about it once in awhile, we talk to him about it," Paul Hebert said Monday from their home in Peace River, AB.
"We just brought it up again the other day saying, ‘Holy cow ,it's going to be a year here on Friday,' and Kienan is like, ‘Yeah.'
"It's just another thing -- a guy came and got him, and at the same time he's just, ‘Yeah well I'm home now.'"
After his parents put him to bed Sept. 6, Kienan, then three years old, was snatched in the night and reported missing the next day.
The nightmare ended Sept. 11 when Kienan was returned, a day after his parents made an emotional public plea to his captor to let him go.
Two days later, Randall Hopley was arrested. He was found squatting in a Bible camp near the Alberta-BC border and in March he pleaded guilty to abducting the boy.
"We are thankful he brought Kienan back and we're just really happy to be home and as for Randall, we are a little set back," Hebert said.
"We don't want to see him get life ... we still know he needs to be accountable, so we hope the best for him as well."
Last month, a BC Supreme Court judge approved a psychiatric assessment for Hopley, a step toward a bid to label him a dangerous offender.
It's a status Hebert doesn't wish for the 47-year-old convict.
"If he was dangerous, he would have hurt Kienan," he said.
"And he made a bad mistake -- it's not a smart thing he did by any means, but he was a scared man in a bad situation and didn't know what to do and so he went and did this ...
"You don't want to see him at 74 years old coming back out into society and going ‘Huh, now what?'"
Instead, he wants Hopley to get help, saying his eyes have been opened to how "blinded" the government is to people who really need it.
"I have been trying to figure out is there any way we can get some help for certain people like Randall where he is stuck in this world but doesn't belong," he said.
"He needs some kind of guidance, mentorship or programs or something where they can go to work, they can be taken care of, so they aren't going to harm someone else like our family."