A vehicle belonging to the family of a missing Texas boy who has severe developmental and physical disabilities has been found abandoned at DFW Airport, CBS Texas’ Olivia Leach and Alexis Wainwright report.
Authorities say they turned an Amber Alert for six-year-old Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez, of Everman, a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb, into an Endangered Missing Persons Alert on Saturday night.
“I need to be very clear that we currently do not have any physical evidence related to Noel’s status as a missing person. What I do know is that we have a six-year-old disabled boy [who] cannot be accounted for,” said Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer.
Everman police say they learned Saturday night that Noel’s mother, Cindy Rodriguez-Singh, his stepfather and Rodriguez-Singh’s six other children had boarded an international flight.
“At approximately 9 p.m. last night, we learned that the mother, stepfather and siblings had all left the country on a Turkish Airways flight to Istanbul that flew out on March 23,” said Spencer.
Noel wasn’t listed as a passenger on the flight.
Child Protective Investigations (CPI) asked Everman police on Thursday evening to conduct a welfare check on Noel at the family’s home, Spencer said.
Cindy Rodriguez-Singh told police Noel was with his biological father in Mexico. But CPI found out that wasn’t true. Family members also told CPI they hadn’t seen Noel since November.
“It appeared to the CPI investigator that the mother was intentionally avoiding authorities,” said Spencer.
“(CPI) informed us that they had attempted to make contact with the mother of the child and had learned that she had taken the children from school and had not returned to school that day. That’s when the concern began,” Spencer disclosed.
He told a news conference Sunday that CPI had prior investigations and actions against Cindy Rodriguez-Singh.
Police have obtained an arrest warrant for her for allegedly giving a false report about a missing person.
What’s more, “(Noel) has a requirement to be on oxygen at certain points in time and we don’t know if he’s getting that,” said Spencer.
Everman police have been working with the Texas Rangers and FBI on the case.
“We have a six-year-old disabled boy who cannot be accounted for, is missing, and the mother is not willing to cooperate with investigators to simply assure that the child is safe, and we are desperately seeking the public’s help,” Spencer told reporters.
“This is one of the strangest cases that I have ever worked,” Spencer observed. “The mother has custody of the child. Our sole mission here is just to try to make sure that that child’s OK.”
Police said they’re not sure Turkey was the family’s final destination. They said Noel’s stepfather is a U.S. immigrant from India.
CBS Texas spoke with a homeowner who said Cindy Rodriguez-Singh, her husband and kids lived in a home behind his house on his property.
Jeremiah Childers works at a gas station down the road from the family’s home and lives two doors down from them. He says Noel’s mother was a regular customer here.
“I have seen the child that they’re looking for,” said Childers. “I had seen her and the children out before you wouldn’t think anything was really wrong with the situation.”
Police are desperately looking for the public’s help in finding Noel.
“To know that I was so close to something like that, I feel a little bad, like I wish I could do more to help,” said Childers.
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