3-year-old missing nearly a week as mom faces child neglect charge

Click to play video: '3-year-old Elijah Vue missing nearly a week as mom faces child neglect charge'
3-year-old Elijah Vue missing nearly a week as mom faces child neglect charge
WATCH ABOVE: Police have charged the mother of three-year-old Elijah Vue and the man she tasked to take care of her son. Vue’s mother, Katrina Baur, and a man named Jesse Vang, have been arrested “on an allegation of child neglect.” It is alleged that Baur sent Vue to the home of Vang for “disciplinary reasons.”

Three-year-old Elijah Vue is still missing nearly a week after he disappeared from a home in Two Rivers, Wisc. As police and volunteer search efforts continue, Vue’s mother faces a criminal charge that she was party to child neglect and allegedly sent the three-year-old to stay with a man for “disciplinary reasons.”

Vue is described as being ethnically white and Hmong, an ethnic minority group that hails from southern China and northern Southeast Asia. He has sandy hair, brown eyes, stands about three feet tall and has a birthmark on his left knee, according to an active Amber Alert.

He was last seen wearing grey sweatpants, a long-sleeved shirt and red-and-green dinosaur shoes. He may be possibly carrying a red-and-white plaid blanket.

Two Rivers is about 350 kilometres southwest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

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The three-year-old was reported missing on Feb. 20 by a 911 caller who identified themselves as his “adult caretaker,” and stated that Vue was last seen around 8 a.m. that day, the Two Rivers Police Department wrote in a release. Police immediately initiated a search and an Amber Alert went out that same day.

Six days later, Vue still has not been located.

The FBI, Wisconsin criminal investigators and the local Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department are all assisting and the city’s manager thanked the efforts of “hundreds of local residents who have taken to the sidewalks, streets, fields, and forests around Two Rivers,” in search of Vue.

On Thursday, Two Rivers police announced that Vue’s mother, Katrina Baur, and a man named Jesse Vang had been arrested “on an allegation of child neglect.” Vang is allegedly the man who was taking care of Vue at the time of his disappearance.

Baur and Vang appeared in court via video conference from jail on Friday, where a district attorney accused Baur of sending her son away to a home she knew was dangerous, according to footage broadcast by NBC26.

“She intentionally sent that child, for disciplinary reasons, for more than a week, to the residence. She was aware of the tactics used and the lack of care provided,” Manitowoc District Attorney Jacalyn LaBre argued, citing a sealed probable cause filing.

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“On at least two occasions during interviews she has provided false information on her whereabouts during the past week,” LaBre added.

Baur was charged with being party to child neglect while Vang was charged with child neglect. The judge noted that Vang was responsible for Vue at the time of his disappearance and would bear responsibility for neglect or lack of care.

The judge ruled that Baur and Vang’s bonds be set at US$15,000 and US$20,000, respectively.

Two Rivers police wrote in an update that if Baur and Vang’s bonds are posted they are ordered to have zero “contact with each other or children under the age of 18.

Authorities have not described the relationship, if any, between Baur and Vang.

At Vang’s bail hearing, LaBre noted that he has a criminal history including a child abuse charge from 2002 and federal drug trafficking charges from 2017, USA Today reports.

On day three of the search for Vue, Two Rivers police wrote that they “understand there are a lot of emotions involving the ongoing search for Elijah,” and that “[s]ome might be frustrated.”

A Friday update revealed that police were searching rivers and the landfill for Vue.

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“We are continuing to work day and night in our search efforts, which include but are not limited to officers following up on all tips and leads, searches of our rivers, drones in the area, teams of officers and agents out on foot and a continued search of the landfill,” police wrote.

“Although you may see our biggest presence in the city of Two Rivers where Elijah was reported missing, know that our investigation also extends into neighboring communities, as well as Elijah’s city of residence in Wisconsin Dells. We continue to explore all avenues and possibilities in our efforts to locate Elijah.”

The most recent police updated thanked the efforts of the Door County/Sturgeon Bay Dive Team and the Green Bay Dive Team for their help in searching the city’s rivers.

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