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Mother, aunt charged with murder in case of missing California boy with autism

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4/28/2019 Storm Gifford
a boy posing for a photo © By Eve Livesey

Cops in California have charged the mother and aunt of a missing autistic boy with murder.

Jakee Contreras, the mother of 6-year-old Duke Flores, and her 29-year-old twin sister, Jennifer Contreras, were arrested Saturday, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff Department press release.

Investigators have provided no details as to what makes them believe the missing boy is dead, reported TV station KTLA.

“The investigation is ongoing and detectives are continuing the search for Duke Flores,” read the release.

After an unidentified family member asked police on Thursday to conduct a welfare check on Duke in his Apple Valley home, Jakee Flores told the responding officers that she had not seen Duke in over a week, reported officials.

She was immediately taken into custody for failing to report Duke missing earlier, said the sheriff’s department. Police than launched a search for the boy.

On Friday, cops searched the Apple Valley home where Duke lived with his mother and aunt. Two other children reportedly reside at the home, said family.

Two vehicles were also towed from the home, reported TV station KABC.

Duke’s grandmother Lydia Gutierrez said she became suspicious of her daughter after having not seen the boy in a while. When she inquired about Duke, Jakee told her that the child had attempted to smother a baby with a pillow and was currently being held at a mental facility, reported ABC News.

“I just want to find Duke. That’s all I really want,” said the boy’s aunt Lea Contreras. “My sisters, they are where they are, but right now, what we really want is to find Duke.”

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