Local News

Family members: Missing boy is in Mexico

Posted January 9, 2009 12:25 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Family members of missing 13-year-old Jose Andres Avellaneda say the boy is with them in Mexico, the Sampson County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Authorities were unable to corroborate the information and are still considering the teen missing.

Relatives reported Jose and his mother Mary Esther Avellaneda, 38, missing after they left their Salemburg home Sunday night with Avellaneda's estranged husband, Jose Cruz Avellaneda.

Jose Cruz Avellaneda returned 20 minutes later, alone, and hasn't been seen since, relatives said.

Family members in Mexico told authorities Friday they do not know the location of Mary Esther Avellaneda or Jose Cruz Avellaneda.

A car connected to the disappearance was found in San Antonio, Texas, Thursday night, the sheriff's office said. The family had previously lived in San Antonio.

Authorities said Thursday they are treating the disappearance as a missing persons case because they have no evidence to indicate any wrongdoing.

"(I'm afraid) that she's somewhere lying dead, both of them," said Mary Esther Avellaneda's brother, John Anthony Garcia.

Jose Cruz Avellaneda's 1995 four-door, white Chevrolet Lumina with North Carolina license plate XZX-8054 was found at a truck stop, but no one was in or around it, said Capt. Eric Pope of the Sampson County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone who might have information about any of the missing family members' whereabouts can call the Sampson County Sheriff's Office at 910-592-4141.