Local News

Authorities Locate Vehicle Sought In Chatham Boy's Disappearance

Posted October 2, 2006 8:22 a.m. EDT

— A sport utility vehicle linked to the disappearance of a 2-year-old boy who was taken from his Siler City home was found in Gaston County Sunday evening.

Capt. Charles Gardner of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office said police in Belmont pulled over the burgundy 1998 Ford Expedition. Two Hispanic women and two children were traveling in it at the time.

Neither the missing child, Edwin Sanchez Gonzales, nor his father, Jorge Sanchez Aguilera, was inside, Gardner said.

Gardner said local authorities interviewed the two women and later released them. Investigators believe the women know Aguilera, but are not sure how they are connected, he said.

Gonzales' disappearance prompted state authorities to issue an Amber Alert Sunday morning after, they said, Aguilera, 29, took the boy from his home at gunpoint during a home invasion robbery.

The boy's mother, Florentina Gonzales Coria, told WRAL that four men cut her phone line, broke into her home and tied her up with duct tape. Authorities said the men also used duct tape to restrain the boy's grandfather and Coria's cousin.

Investigators said the assailants threatened to kill the victims if they did not turn over Gonzales. Coria said Aguilera took the child because he was angry that he was not granted custody of him.

"She couldn't do nothing about it," Coria said through a family friend, who did not want to be identified. "They took her baby."

Investigators also searched Aguilera's home in Siler City, but did not say if they had any leads as to where he might be. Authorities said earlier Sunday that he has relatives in South Carolina and could be headed there.

Gonzales is 3 feet tall, weighs about 25 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and a diaper.

Aguilera is about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 145 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes and is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Chatham County's Sheriff's Office at 919-542-2911 or local law enforcement.

Authorities have not released descriptions of the other three men. Coria, however, said she also recognized them and identified one as her brother. Police have questioned him in connection with the case, but he has not been arrested.

Chatham County investigators said Sunday Coria has a domestic violence protection order against Aguilera and that he had been recently arrested for violating that order.