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Police ask public to look for ‘vehicle of interest’ in the disappearance of Wisconsin toddler

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Posted at 7:02 PM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 19:02:12-05

(CNN) — Two weeks after a 3-year-old Wisconsin boy vanished, law enforcement is urging homeowners and businesses to review surveillance footage for a vehicle of interest so they can track its movements from the day before the child went missing, police said Tuesday.

Elijah Vue was last seen on February 20 in the city of Two Rivers while he was being watched by Jesse Vang, a man who was in a relationship with the boy’s mother, Katrina Baur, according to a criminal complaint filed in Manitowoc County. Vang told police he noticed Elijah was gone when he woke up from a nap at his home and the child wasn’t there, according to the complaint.

Both Baur, 31, and Vang, 39, were charged with felony child neglect about a week after his disappearance. Baur also was charged with a felony count of chronic child neglect in an amended complaint filed Thursday and obtained by CNN affiliate WLUK. CNN has sought comment from attorneys representing Baur and Vang.

Police in Two Rivers on Tuesday asked the public to share camera footage of a 1997 four-door Nissan Altima, beige in color, bearing Wisconsin registration beginning with “A” and ending with “0,” according to the police department.

Authorities are currently in possession of the vehicle and “Jesse Vang and Katrina Baur are not owners of the vehicle,” according to a news release from the police on Tuesday.

Police went on to say their “interest is not with the current owner of the vehicle, only in the camera footage captured on February 19, 2024, between the hours of 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM.”

Law enforcement from across Wisconsin, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Division of Criminal Investigation and Department of Natural Resources scoured rural areas in Manitowoc County on Tuesday, the release said.

“A child missing for any amount of time is everyone’s worst nightmare,” said Two Rivers Police Chief Ben Meinnert during a press conference last week.

An Amber Alert has been issued for the toddler, whose been described as having dark blond hair and brown eyes, according to police. He was last seen wearing gray pants, a long-sleeve dark shirt, red and green dinosaur shoes and possibly carrying a red and white plaid blanket.

A reward for information leading to the discovery of the child or the arrest of the persons responsible for his disappearance is now up to $25,000, the police department said.

“We stand before you today with heavy hearts burdened by an unimaginable situation. The pain is indescribable, a torment no family or child should ever face,” Elijah’s aunt Linda Vue said at last week’s press conference. “We cannot express the depth of our sorrow, nor the desperation that consumes us as each moment passes without news of Elijah’s safety.”