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Woman reported missing found dead in South Bend; 5-month-old son alive, taken to hospital

Police chief: 'I would bet my life that more than one person knows what happened.'
south bend silver alert.png
Posted at 10:28 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 15:37:33-04

SOUTH BEND — A woman who went missing along with her infant son was found dead Tuesday evening, and the child has been taken to a local hospital, ABC affiliate WBND-LD reports.

The body of Alexis Morales, 27, was found in South Bend, while 5-month-old Messiah Morales was transported for treatment of hypothermic injuries. He's expected to recover, WBND reports.

Earlier in the day, a vehicle that matches the model and plate number of one that belongs to Alexis Morales was found late Tuesday near the intersection of South Kaley and West Huron streets, which is on the west side of South Bend, WBND reports. Messiah was found in the vehicle.

"When the officers arrived on scene and they reached in and they found him alive, they immediately scooped him up, cared for him, gave him love and got him to the hospital," police said Tuesday.

South Bend Police say this case is a homicide investigation.

"It was clear immediately while dealing with processing the scene and seeing Alexis; it was clear that it became a homicide scene," police said.

The baby is still at the hospital and with family. Alexis' autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

"This is taking a physical and psychological toll on our officers and our detectives," South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said. "Somebody knows [what happened]. Absolutely 100% somebody knows. Matter of fact, I would bet my life that more than one person knows what happened."

Alexis and Messiah Morales were last seen about 6 p.m. a week ago in South Bend. A statewide Silver Alert was declared in their disappearances on Monday, April 18.

Police say an Amber Alert would not have realistically been issued because Messiah was believed to be with his mother. According to the State of Indiana, one of the Amber Alert criteria is that the child must be believed to be abducted and in danger of serious bodily harm or death.

The pair was last seen in a silver 2006 BMW X5 SUV with Indiana license plate MULALUV, according to the alert.

Anyone with information on Messiah is asked to call 911 or the Elkhart Sheriff's Office at 574-533-4151.