Search underway for missing 3-year-old Wisconsin boy as mother, man face neglect charges


An intensive search is underway for a missing 3-year-old Wisconsin boy whom a district attorney alleged was sent to stay with a man “for disciplinary reasons.”

Jacalyn LaBre, district attorney for Manitowoc County, made the allegation in court Friday in reference to the disappearance of Elijah Vue, who was last seen Tuesday.

LaBre referred Vue’s mother, Katrina Baur, 31, and the man her son was allegedly sent to stay with, Jesse Vang, 39, for charges of child neglect.

Charges have not been formally filed, and documents in the case were sealed, but LaBre’s remarks in court and information from police shed some light on the disappearance of the 3-foot, 50-pound boy with sandy blonde hair and Hmong heritage.

Elijah Vue.Two Rivers Police Department

Police said someone who identified themself as Elijah’s “adult care taker” called authorities shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday to report that Elijah was missing from a residence in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and was last seen there about 8 a.m., police said in a statement.

A massive search was launched and a statewide Amber Alert was issued for the child, they said.

During the detention and bail hearing, LaBre said that Baur “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. This was an intentional thing by her.”

The hearing on Friday was covered by NBC affiliates WTMJ of Milwaukee and WGBA of Green Bay. LaBre confirmed by email to NBC News that she made the remarks alleging Baur sent Elijah to stay with Vang as discipline.

The prosecutor also alleged the mother was not honest with police investigating Elijah’s disappearance. The DA said he was last in the care of Vang. The nature of the relationship between Baur and Vang was unclear.

A state public defender assigned to the case did not immediately respond to a request to comment on both defendants’ behalf.

Baur and Vang remained behind bars Sunday night, according to Manitowoc County Jail records. They were due in court Monday afternoon.

It’s not clear when they were booked. An affidavit in support of Baur’s arrest was filed in court Thursday, according to remarks made during Friday’s hearing.

Investigators have not said what they believe has happened to Elijah but are searching on the ground and in the air using state, local and federal resources.

“Since the moment Elijah was reported missing our law enforcement from local, state and federal agencies along with dedicated volunteers and community members have been working tirelessly around the clock to search every inch of our city and beyond,” Two Rivers Police Chief Benjamin Meinnert said at a news conference Wednesday.

He urged residents to check the grounds of their homes for the boy and report any sightings or clues to authorities.

Two Rivers police said in a statement Sunday that the Green Bay Police Department Dive Team helped with the search.

“Our search efforts continued throughout last night and will continue today on our city rivers,” the police department said.

Two Rivers is a city of roughly 11,000 on Lake Michigan, about 90 miles north of Milwaukee.



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