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Authorities intensify hunt for missing toddler after his mom found buried in New York

May 31, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities intensify hunt for missing toddler after his mom found buried in New York Owen Hidalgo (Left) and Sarah Calderon:

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New York State law enforcement officials are fearing the worst in the case of Owen Hidalgo-Calderon, a missing 14-month-old child whose mother was likely killed and buried in a plastic bag.

The hunt for Owen Hidalgo-Calderon has shifted from a missing child case into a recovery commission, according to Sheriff Gary Virts of Wayne County, New York, which is located halfway between Syracuse and Rochester.

Authorities say Owen’s mother, 18-year-old Selena Hidalgo-Calderon, was discovered dead in the bag between logs, coated in soil and branches behind her residence in Sodus.

“We believe she was murdered in the home and then carried to the woods,” Virts indicated.

Her boyfriend, Ebavardo Gutierrez Reyes, 25, an immigrant from Mexico, has been charged with evidence tampering after he confessed to investigators that he brought her body from the home and buried it with a shovel. He is behind bars on $25,000 bail.

“It is beyond reasoning why someone would be killed and the infant would be missing,” Virts told the press on Thursday.

The boy, who has asthma, was last seen with Reyes in Sodus on May 16th.

Authorities launched the search for Owen and his mother after Hidalgo-Calderon’s mother reported the two missing, according to the New York Daily News.

They were nowhere to be found in the house where they were living for three weeks while they worked as farm laborers.

Last week, Hidalgo-Calderon’s family member said they last heard from her on May 15th, which was strange because she called them almost daily.

However, they believed the couple might have run off because of their immigration situation.

A cadaver dog then signaled in the doorway of the couple’s residence — alerting to the possible presence of a body.

That night, officers discovered footage from a wildlife surveillance camera in the woods, which showed Reyes going in and out of the woods five times on May 17th with a shovel.

The searchers located Hidalgo-Calderon. However, she could not be immediately identified because of the level of decomposition of her body. She was ultimately identified Friday morning.

Reyes was taken into custody last Wednesday in York, N.Y.

He admitted to burying the remains but refused to reveal how Hidalgo-Calderon was killed. He did not reveal where the child was.

Selena and Owen Hidalgo-Calderon

Reyes was arraigned on the evidence tampering charge Friday and was booked on $25,000 bail.

The hunt for Owen continues. Authorities published an Amber Alert for him Friday.

“My daughter and my grandson were my life,” Estela Calderon, Selena’s mother and Owen’s grandmother, said in a statement released by an immigrant rights organization.

“She was my first born, and I feel like a piece of my heart is gone,” she added.

Virts said he did not go public because he wanted to remain focused on Reyes.

“We believed if we did an Amber Alert, we would have had side noise,” Virts said.

Virts added that one problem with the probe is his agency’s relationship with the area’s immigrant farmworkers. The workers are sensitive out of fear of being deported.

“I have gone to great lengths to engage our Hispanic community,” he stated, adding that he does not seek assistance from ICE. “It is difficult to engage them because they are afraid.”

Authorities requested that anyone with information contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department at 866-697-2623.

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