January 03, 2017 12:15 PM
Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department deputies say 2-year-old Ethan Jacquez was returned to his paternal grandmother Monday evening. He is reportedly unharmed.
His father, 23-year-old Sergio Guadalupe Jacquez, is still at large. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Authorities issued Amber Alert for the 2-year-old boy after they say his father abducted him Monday afternoon, and Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department deputies believed they had crossed the border into Mexico.
According to the New Mexico State Police, Ethan Jacquez was taken from his home on Powell Place Road in La Mesa near Las Cruces.
Sergio Guadalupe Jacquez is described as a Hispanic male standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 209 pounds. He has brown eyes and dark brown hair. Deputies charged him with arson, aggravated battery, vehicle theft, and child abuse.
Authorities are also searching for a white 2001 Ford F-150 extended cab truck with New Mexico license plate number 134 PJW. The passenger side has damage on the vehicle. Sergio Jacquez has addresses in Anthony and Las Cruces.
Kelly Jameson, a Public Information Officer for the sheriff’s office, said border officials confirmed to them that a white Ford pickup truck was spotted on a license plate reader at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. He said deputies are working with federal officials to find Jacquez.
Authorities had said earlier Monday evening they believed Sergio Jacquez was bound for Colorado or Mexico.
Jameson said Sergio Jacquez showed up at the home of Ethan’s maternal grandparents around 1 p.m. Monday demanding he be allowed to take his son. Jameson said the grandfather refused and Sergio Jacquez attacked the grandfather, striking him several times.
The boy’s grandmother was asleep inside the home when the attack happened, Jameson said.
At that point, Jameson said Sergio Jacquez forced his way into the house, poured gasoline inside and lit the house on fire. The grandmother and 2-year-old fled the house to avoid the smoke, and Sergio Jacquez pushed the woman to the ground, Jameson said. The grandfather told deputies Sergio Jacquez also poured gasoline on him as well.
“He allegedly attacked the child's maternal grandfather. He set fire to the family's home,” Jameson told KOB’s Caleb James in a phone interview Monday night. “We would categorize this incident as very violent.”
Sergio Jacquez then left the residence with the boy, Jameson said. Law enforcement subsequently released the Amber Alert.
“Sheriff’s deputies immediately began the process of working with New Mexico State Police to issue an Amber Alert for the missing boy,” Jameson said. “A series of events that are required to successfully launch the alert had to be completed prior to the alert being issued.
Updated: January 03, 2017 12:15 PM
Created: January 02, 2017 06:56 PM
Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved