THE search for a missing mum and her three-year-old son from Basildon went on for eight months.

Ellie Yarrow-Sanders took her three-year-old son Olly Sheridan and fled, whilst she was in the midst of court litigation with her ex-partner, Patrick Sheridan, in July 2018.

The Basildon family initially tried to trace Miss Yarrow-Sanders, 26, privately for the first five months, but after no leads were established, the judge presiding over the case decided to take matters further.

Mr Justice Williams, who oversaw the family court hearing in private, chose to lift the ban on publicising details of the case and make a public appeal in December for Miss Yarrow-Sanders to return home with Olly.

This made Olly a ward of the court.

The Judge said he had “grave concerns” about the welfare of the boy, and appealed for the public to help bring him home so he “could live a normal life”.

Patrick Sheridan, 45, said in December he was “sick with worry” over Olly’s whereabouts.

However, Miss Yarrow-Sanders did not respond to this public appeal, with lawyers saying in January she had “gone underground” with no phone, social media or bank accounts being recorded as used in months.

Later that month, letters began to circulate social media, first shared by Miss Yarrow-Sanders family in summer last year, which were written by the mother, explaining why she fled.

She said that running away and hiding was “the only way” she could protect her son.

Around the same time, Patrick Sheridan issued an updated appeal for Miss Yarrow-Sanders to come home, telling her to “have faith in the justice system”.

In early February, Maddie and Donna Yarrow, Miss Yarrow-Sanders’ sister and mother respectively, also joined the appeal for her to return, as long as “certain conditions” were met and that her son would not be taken from her.

This was at the same time Mr Justice Williams took to Twitter to appeal for her to come home, which is believed to be the first time a judge has ever used social media for such actions.

Mr Sheridan stated he would not hold her running away against her in future court litigation, saying he just wanted to see his son home safe.

On March 7, Miss Yarrow-Sanders’s family began a petition to encourage the Home Office to give her amnesty over any charges relating to her running away. It has gained more than 1,500 signatures.

Things came to a head on Thursday, when Essex Police confirmed their search for Miss Yarrow-Sanders and Olly had been called off.

The High Court has now confirmed the mother and son’s whereabouts are known and the hearing will resume. A spokesman said: “Further to the appeal by Mr Justice Williams for the return of Olly Sheridan to the UK on February 1, the court can confirm that the mother and child’s whereabouts have been established.

“The case will be further considered at the High Court Family Division in London. This hearing is expected to be in private but members of the accredited press may attend subject to usual restrictions.”

A hearing is expected on March 21.