Missing Autistic Boy's Mother, Aunt, Booked On Murder Charge
Duke Flores' friends and family members gathered for a vigil on Friday night, where they prayed and asked for help in finding the boy.
APPLE VALLEY, CA — The mother of a missing 6-year-old and her twin sister are facing murder charges in California in connection with the boy's death, according to Los Angeles's KTLA.
Jackee Racquel Contreras, the mother of Duke Flores, and her twin sister, Jennifer Rachel Contreras, both 29, were arrested in connection with the boy's disappearance, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department.
On Thursday, police in Apple Valley responded to a residence after Duke's grandmother requested a welfare check on the boy. She had not seen the boy in 10 days.
After she asked after her grandson, Jackee allegedly told her mother Duke attempted to smother a baby with a pillow and was at a mental facility, the New York Daily News reported.
Duke lived in the home with his mother, father, and his mother's sister, according to news reports.
Jackee told police that her son, who has autism, had not been seen in over a week.
Authorities immediately began searching the area, and took Jackee into custody on child-endangerment charges because she failed to report him missing earlier.
Police say that they arrested the women after speaking with other family members, but so far have declined to provide further details about these interviews and why they now believe Duke has been murdered.
According to authorities, Duke's father is "ill" and "unaware" of the situation with his son.
Jackee Contreras is being held in the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga without bail. Her sister is reportedly in custody at another facility.
Duke's friends and family members gathered for a vigil on Friday night, where they prayed and asked for help in finding the boy.
Duke's godfather, Juan Contreras, told KTLA that he was Jackee's "pride and joy."
Read more: KTLA, New York Daily News