CA DUKE FLORES: Missing from Apple Valley, CA - 18 April 2019 - Age 6



Duke was last seen on April 18, 2019.

NCMEC - Have you seen this child? Duke Flores

Mother, aunt of missing 6-year-old arrested for his murder: Authorities

The mother and aunt of a missing 6-year-old boy with autism from Southern California have been charged with his murder, authorities said on Saturday.

Jakee Raquel Flores, 29, and her twin sister Jennifer Rachel Contreras, were charged in connection with the disappearance of Flores' son, Duke -- who remains missing, according to a press release issued on Saturday morning by the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department.

On Thursday, police responded to a home in Apple Valley -- about 45 minutes north of San Bernardino -- to conduct a welfare check on the boy in response to a request from an unidentified family member, according to the press release. When they arrived, Flores told law enforcement officials that the boy had been missing for about two weeks. She was subsequently arrested and charged with child neglect for failing to report the child missing, and a search for the missing boy was launched.

It remained unclear on Saturday why officials decided to charge the twins with murder without apparently having located the child.

"The investigation is ongoing and detectives are continuing the search for Duke Flores," the news release said.

Police searched the Apple Valley home where Duke lives along with his mother and aunt on Friday. Two vehicles were also towed away from the home, KABC reported.

The child's grandmother, Lydia Gutierrez, said she was suspicious of her daughter after not seeing the child for awhile. When she asked Jackee about Duke, she said that her daughter told her that Duke had tried to smother a baby with a pillow and was being held at a mental facility.

MEDIA - DUKE FLORES: Missing from Apple Valley, CA since 18 April 2019 - Age 6
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Testimony: Duke Flores was killed after trying to smother infant

Shocking testimony at a preliminary hearing Wednesday revealed how homicide detectives believe two sisters were involved in the killing of 6-year-old Duke Flores of Apple Valley.

Wednesday’s hearing provided the first details as to why homicide detectives believe Duke was murdered and placed in a dumpster near his home in the 22000 block of Cherokee Avenue in Apple Valley.

According to testimony by Narcie Sousa, a Sheriff’s Department homicide detective, Duke Flores’ death happened this way:

Jackee Contreras said that she and Jennifer were hanging laundry in the backyard of the house on April 14.

Jackee said they heard a scream and went into the garage. There, the sisters found Duke straddling Jennifer’s 9-month old infant daughter, attempting to smother her with a pillow, Jackee told Sousa.

After pulling Duke off the infant, Jennifer looked at Jackee and said: “I’ve got to kill him.”

Jackee said that Jennifer took Duke out to the backyard while she stayed inside. Jennifer and Duke came back into the garage after about five minutes.

As Duke was “positioned” between the sisters, Jennifer placed a plastic bag over the boy’s head. She then grabbed a “TV power cord” and wrapped it around Duke’s neck.

Jackee, at a point that was disputed at the hearing, tied up Duke’s hands with a second cord, Sousa said.

Jennifer then strangled him, Jackee told Sousa during an interview on April 27.

Duke was then wrapped in a blanket, put inside a laundry and trash bag, and buried in the backyard.

Sousa continued to testify that, on Easter Sunday, the sisters unburied Duke because their pitbulls were digging at the makeshift grave, exposing the trash bag.

After waiting for night to fall, they placed Duke’s body in a pull wagon, along with other trash bags, and walked around the area looking for a dumpster in which to place him.

The sisters were allegedly walking with Jennifer’s two young daughters in tow when they finally found a dumpster that was unlocked three blocks south of the house. Duke’s body was placed inside the container, Jackee told Sousa.

Sheriff’s officials pulled data from Duke’s iPad, which revealed over 100 internet searches that night inquiring about trash times for the area.

Sousa said investigators also pulled surveillance footage from two houses across the street from the home. He said the footage showed that at sometime before 9 p.m. that night, two adults emerged from the house, one pushing a stroller and one pulling a wagon with a “large item” in it.

6-year-old Duke Flores was tied, smothered, buried, dug up, then dumped by mother and aunt

During the investigation, deputies learned the boy had been missing since April 14th, but no one in the household had filed a report.



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Deputies End 8-Week Search for Missing 6-Year-Old in Victorville Landfill

The search for a missing child whose mother and aunt, who are twin sisters, were charged with murder ended at an Inland Empire landfill on June 21, more than two months after family members had last seen the boy.

For eight weeks, the Apple Valley Police Department continued to comb refuse at the Victorville landfill located at 18600 Stoddard Wells Rd., using search dogs, volunteers and employees.

The department said they had to pore over an estimated 7,000 tons of garbage in the hopes of finding him, but were not successful.

"This is not the outcome we had hoped for," Sheriff John McMahon said. "But we knew going into this search that there was a chance we would not locate Duke. I am extremely proud of the dedication shown by every person who continued to show up day after day, desperately hoping to locate the young boy."

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