Mother of missing 6-year-old arrested on child cruelty charges
Apple Valley Police Department(APPLE VALLEY, Calif.) — The mother of a missing 6-year-old from Southern California has been arrested on child cruelty charges while authorities continue to search for her son.
Jackee Flores, 29, has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of her son, Duke, police confirmed Friday. She was arrested the night before.
Duke, who is autistic, was reported missing on Thursday night, but family members told Los Angeles ABC station KABC-TV they believe he may have been gone longer.
“I just want to find Duke. That’s all I really want,” the boy’s aunt, Lea Contreras, told KABC-TV.
Jackee Flores lives in Apple Valley, California, about 45 minutes north of San Bernardino, with her twin sister, Jennifer Gutierrez.
Police searched the home where Duke lives along with his mother and aunt on Friday. Two vehicles were also towed away from the home, KABC-TV reported.
“We know that there’s no body in there,” Gutierrez said, referring to their home. “So where is Duke?”
The child’s grandmother, Lydia Gutierrez, said she was suspicious of her daughter after not seeing the child for a while. When she asked Jackee about Duke, she told Lydia the child had tried to smother a baby with a pillow and was being held at a mental facility.
After speaking to Jennifer, she discovered that the story did not check out. So far, Jackee Flores is only facing the child cruelty charges.
Two other children live inside the house, family said.
Apple Valley police say Duke is tall for his age, about 3 feet 10 inches, and has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information can call the police department at 760-240-7400, extension 7412.
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