An AMBER Alert has been issued for a missing 14-month-old boy after his mother was found dead. A New York statewide alert was issued on Friday, May 25. Police in western New York found the toddler's mother’s dead body in the woods, stuffed in a plastic bag, reported People.
On Monday, crews were still searching the 350-acre where the boy's mother worked. According to WIVB, it's been eight days since the 911 center received a call to check on the welfare of Selena Hidalgo-Calderon and her son, Owen.
After the Amber Alert was issued, searches continued throughout the weekend. They included K9 units brought in Saturday and an underwater search team on Sunday.
According to authorities, the little boy, Owen Hidalgo-Calderon, has brown eyes and short brown hair. He weighs about 30 pounds, is around two feet tall, and he is known to need asthma medication. Police do not know what he is wearing.
“The child was taken under circumstances that lead the police to believe that he is in imminent danger of serious harm and/or death,” the alert, issued by Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, reads.
Owen was last seen on May 16 with his mother, Selena Hidalgo-Calderon, 18. Her body was located on Wednesday, May 23. She was in a plastic bag, partially buried between two logs, and covered with soil and branches on the Joy Road farm in Sodus.
That's where she and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Edward Reyes, lived and worked. Reyes was later seen on a hunter’s trail camera in the woods with a shovel, authorities said.
He was arrested on Wednesday night on charges of tampering with physical evidence. He is being held on $25,000 bail in the Wayne County Jail pending a court appearance on May 29.
“[He] stated he removed the deceased body of Selena from the home and buried her in the woods behind the home,” Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts said at a press conference on Thursday. “He has not stated that he committed the homicide. Reyes made no statements as to the whereabouts of Owen.”
Reyes is facing charges in the case. A spokesperson for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Gutierrez-Reyes is an illegally present citizen of Mexico. He has been removed from the United States twice—in 2016 and 2017. He has a 2017 federal conviction for illegal entry.
Reyes is not Owen’s father. Owen is Guatemalan, and his father is in Guatemala. He has been notified about Owen’s disappearance, authorities said.
Police are investigating Selena’s death as a homicide. They say they “absolutely” believe she was “murdered." An official cause of death has not been released. Police also said they are working authorities from Mexico, Reyes' home country, to see if Reyes has a past criminal record.
Virts said he did not know what led to Selena’s death. However, family and friends told police that she had fled domestic abuse in the past.
The police have had 145 people from multiple organizations searching for Owen. They will continue throughout the weekend.
“As a grandfather and as a father, my heart tells me that we will find young Owen. But my experience in law enforcement, I believe this will be a recovery,” Virts added. “I hope he is alive but I don’t believe that he is alive because of the time period.”
Selena has been in the U.S. since November 2016. She was seeking asylum in the U.S. after leaving her home in Guatemala and was seeking asylum. Virts made it clear her immigration status will not impact how they go about the investigation.
“I don’t care about your race, creed, color, national origin or religion,” he said. “If you are a victim, we will fight for you, we will triumph for you. If you are a perpetrator and you have abused somebody, we are going to hunt you down.”
Selena’s mother, Estela Calderon, issued a statement about her daughter. She wrote, “My daughter and my grandson were my life. She was my first born and I feel like a piece of my heart is gone.”
Please pray for the safe recovery of this little boy and justice for his mother. In other news, former President George W. Bush issued a statement on Monday after his hospitalization. Please pray for him!