A man is desperately searching for his fugitive mother 17 years after she was accused of kidnapping him and his brother amid a custody dispute with her former husband.

Jonathan Wiegand, 27, still sleeps with a picture painted by his mother Linda under his pillow at his home in Fairfield, Connecticut, and said he does not know whether she is alive or dead.

But due to a lack of court resources, the charges against her have been dropped – so Jonathan hopes he will finally see her again.

‘I’m praying to God that she’ll come back now,’ Wiegand told the Hartford Courant. ‘It’s really affected my life. I’ve cried so many nights because of this.’

On the run: Linda Wiegand is pictured with her son Jonathan in 1993 - four years before she vanished after being accused of custodial kidnapping. The charges against her have now been droppedOn the run: Linda Wiegand is pictured with her son Jonathan in 1993 – four years before she vanished after being accused of custodial kidnapping. The charges against her have now been dropped

Linda Wiegand vanished after she was arrested in Las Vegas July 1996 with her two sons, whom she had allegedly kidnapped from their home in Connecticut.

At the time, her ex-husband, Thomas Wilkinson, had custody of Jonathan, who was 10, and his brother Benjamin Wilkinson.

She was charged with custodial interference and the boys were returned to their father. But when he caught day arrived, she never showed up.

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