The US Consulate in Juarez is working to bring an El Paso boy allegedly abandoned in Juarez by his mother back to the U.S.
The police department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit confirmed the child found is a four-year old United States citizen.
An investigation revealed the boy’s biological mother, 25-year-old Ruby Esmeralda Gonzalez, took the child to Juarez on February 22, 2017 and left him in an abandoned building, police say.
Gonzalez returned to the United States without the victim on that same date, police added.
Sources close to investigation in Juarez tell ABC-7 the boy was found in the Colonia Central near Francisco Villa and Cristobal Colon streets, not that far away from the international port of entry.
A man who appeared to be an American tourist spotted the boy and brought it to the attention of a parking attendant. When police arrived, they questioned the boy, who told them his name is Luis and that his mom had left him there.
The parking attendant told police the boy had been sitting on a pile of discarded rags for hours, had scratches and bruises on his head and was very hungry.
The officers took the boy to a judge’s office, who sent the boy to a children’s home, where he has been cared for since.
The boy spoke and understood English, leading Mexican investigators to believe he is a US citizen. ABC-7 has learned the boy is still in the custody of Mexican authorities.
Gonzalez reportedly saw news reports on Saturday, June 3, 2017 after police in El Paso asked the public for help identifying the boy. The woman allegedly called police to report her son had been kidnapped.
Police did not believe Gonzalez’s story and charged the woman with “Abandoning and Endangering Child/Imminent Danger/Bodily Injury.”
Gonzalez was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on a bond of $10,000.
Court records show Gonzalez was charged with two counts of Assault Causing Bodily Injury/Family Violence in 2008. One of the counts was dismissed and Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to the second count.
ABC-7 has learned the US consulate in Juarez is working to bring the boy back to El Paso.
ABC-7 spoke with Lizbeth Solano, a neighbor of Gonzalez. “We cannot even understand why these kind of things happen, but this world is changing. It’s really hard for me to understand why these things happen,” Solano said.
Cecy Herrera, director of social programs at a church near Gonzalez’s last known address, told ABC-7 she deals with similar problems in the community. “The lady is dealing, obviously, with problems and I am very surprised because we help a lot of people in this community. I’m a retired social worker and that is the reason I’m here helping with the after school program.”
“We are hoping the little boy does provide more information because I think that’s also a learning experience for us to see how we can also take that information, and hopefully, prevent this from happening again,” said Lorraine Gomez, executive director of the Child Crisis Center, “What’s heartbreaking is the child was there since February.”
Gomez said Child Protective Services has not reached out to her agency yet. She does not yet know if CCC will be asked to care for the boy when he is brought back to El Paso.
“If he is destined to come to our shelter, we will definitely make sure we take good care of him until whatever the outcome might be,” Gomez said, “We take care of each child here as if they were our own.”
If you would like to help the Child Crisis Center of El Paso, call 915-562-7955.