LONGMONT, Colo. - Brandy Turner and her 3-year-old son were finally able to laugh Tuesday night after a long, frightening ordeal that police say began with Turner's estranged husband attacking her and kidnapping the toddler in Longmont Saturday and ended with a mother-son reunion near the Canadian border.
"He was just as happy to see me as I was to see him. It was great," the Longmont mom said during a 9:05 p.m. news conference at Denver International Airport. She and Luke arrived on a flight that began in Minot, N.D., but was briefly diverted to Casper, Wyo., because of high winds in Colorado.
"They're taking pictures. I like pictures," young Luke said to laughter from news crews as he sat on his mom's lap.
Brandy Turner thanked everyone who helped bring her son home, from the Longmont Police Department and the FBI to Canadian law enforcement and social services workers who brought Luke across the border to North Dakota where mother and son were reunited.
"The gals from Canadian family services that brought him over were just wonderful," said Brandy Turner, who couldn't travel to Canada to pick up her son because she didn't have a passport.
The mother said when she finally saw, Luke, "He was like, 'Mommy, am I going home?' He was really excited."
Authorities recovered Luke at a motel in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada on Sunday afternoon after police said he was kidnapped by Brandy's estranged husband on Saturday.
Canadian police said they zoomed up in five cars -- some unmarked -- to the Casablanca Motor Inn and arrested the boy's father, Monty Ray Turner, 51, without incident. He's being held in jail on investigation of kidnapping, burglary and assault.
Longmont police issued an Amber Alert for Luke and his father after Monty Turner allegedly broke into his estranged wife's Longmont home on Saturday morning and used a stun gun and pepper spray on Brandy.
Monty then grabbed Luke and took off on a bicycle with the boy in a child's seat.
According to police, Monty Turner lost custody of his son after taking him in July 2012 -- just as Brandy Turner filed for divorce. The father disappeared with his son for eight months.
Luke was eventually returned to his mother in March, after police said Monty Turner was found hiding with the boy in a box truck under some carpet at a home in Washington County. The father wasn't charged with a crime in the 2012 incident, because both parents had legal custody of the child.
At DIA, Brandy Turner said two abductions in less than a year have made her anxious about keeping a close eye on her son.
"It's the same feeling as the last time he came home. I didn't want to smother him, because little boys don't like to be smothered. But still I don't like him away from my sight," she said.
Brandy Turner said she was exhausted after an emotional rollercoaster ride that ranged "from terror to disbelief…to wondering what was going to happen."
The mother said she and Luke briefly talked about what happened.
"I just think in his mind, he's happy to know I'm okay and that he's okay. But he's still very confused," she said.
"Over time I'm going to seek therapy for all three of us," the mother said, referring to herself, Luke and an older daughter. "I intend to get some good solid advice on how to handle his questions and his memories."
"All of this was so unnecessary, and I think it’s a shame because kids thrive with both parents," she said. "And I hurt for (Luke) that he’s not going to have that, but his safety is the most important thing."
Meanwhile, Monty Turner remains in jail in Winnipeg, Canada, where he's not answering authorities' questions about how he crossed into Canada, according to GlobalNews.com.
During a detention review hearing Tuesday, Turner was denied bail because authorities fear he's a flight risk, Global News reported.
Appearing via phone from a Winnipeg jail, Turner said he doesn’t have a car and asked the hearing officer to have mercy on him.
"I'm able to stay in a motel and subject to stay," said Turner, who was representing himself and did not have an attorney, Global News reported.
The hearing officer, Laura Ko, denied Turner's release, saying if he were freed, he likely wouldn't appear at a hearing next Tuesday when he may be deported back to Colorado. He will remain in jail until that hearing.
Longmont Police Cmdr. Jeff Satur said his agency is working with the FBI and federal prosecutors to have Turner return to Colorado to face justice.