Missing Toddler Chat Group Banned

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A partial settlement has been reached in a cyber-bullying case brought by the parents of a missing toddler against the operator of a chat group set up to discuss the fate of their son.

Dylan Ehler was three years old when he vanished from the backyard of his grandmother's home in Truro, Nova Scotia, at around 1:15 pm on May 6, 2020. Searches for the missing child were called off after two weeks, and his whereabouts remain a mystery.

The only trace of the toddler discovered to date were his rubber boots, which were located roughly 150 meters apart along Lepper Brook.

In online discussions of the case, Ehler's parents, Jason Ehler and Ashley Brown, have been variously accused without evidence of involvement in the boy's disappearance and of murdering their son. 

In February, Ehler's parents decided to take April Diane Moulton and Tom Hurley, also known as Tom Hubley, to court, arguing that the accusations and insults posted on a Facebook page administered by the pair constitute cyber-bullying.

The page, which was called "Dylan Ehler Open for Discussions" or "Dylan Ehler Open for Suggestions," at one point had over 17,000 members. 

"It's been horrific quite frankly," said the parents' lawyer, Allison Harris. "They're dealing with looking for their son, and this has taken away from that.

"Every time they go online, they get these kinds of messages, and some of this has spilled over into the community, and that's impacting them as well."

In an order signed late last month in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Moulton was prohibited from re-opening the now closed Facebook page about Dylan and from starting another one like it. Moulton is also banned from making any further public posts about the missing child or his parents.

Hurley was offered a similar agreement to the one accepted by Moulton but has not accepted it. He reportedly said that since he lives in the same small town as Ehler's parents, he cannot agree to a ban on seeing them. 

The parties are due to meet face to face in court on August 3 for a hearing.

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