Hunt for missing 2-yr-old boy leads cops to 23 abducted children being kept at a house in deplorable conditions
Authorities stated that the rescued children showed signs of being physically and psychologically abused
A manhunt for a missing toddler resulted in the police to find 23 abducted children by a human trafficking gang. The children had been rescued by the authorities in the municipality of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico. Three women were arrested for their involvement in the crime.
The shocking discovery was made after a frantic search for a boy, 2, who had vanished from a marketplace towards the end of June, according to the state attorney general's office. As reported by The Sun, prosecutor Jorge Llaven Abarca revealed that 23 minors including three breastfeeding infants and three toddlers between the ages of 12 and 20 months were found.
The attorney general's office said that the rescued children showed signs of being physically and psychologically abused. Three women who have been identified as Maribel, Maria Hortensia, and Juana were arrested while the young victims were handed to local Mexican authorities.
The ages of the other children varied from two to 15 years. According to Kxan, the search for the missing child, Dylan Esaú Gómez Pérez, led to the house of children who were kept in inhumane conditions and were forced to sell trinkets and handicrafts on the street.
The missing child Dylan who would be turning 3 years old in November, had not been found among the children. While looking at surveillance footage, the state prosecutor Llaven said that a boy and a girl around the age of 12 were seen talking to a woman who is a suspect in the abduction of Dylan.
Llaven was able to identify the woman as 'Ofelia' and even offered up a $13,500 reward for anyone with information on the woman's whereabouts or the missing child. Pictures taken from the cameras show the boy and girl enter the public market where Dylan's mother worked. Dylan seemed to be following the boy after which the girl takes Dylan by the back of the jacket and leaves the market with him.
She later returns alone after presumably handing the child to someone else. The Chiapas state prosecutors office released a statement where they said that the children "were forced through physical and psychological violence to sell handicrafts in the center of the city."
They added that the children showed signs of "malnutrition and precarious conditions." A video showed to prosecutors revealed that the children slept on what seemed to be sheets of cardboard and blankets on a cement floor. Dylan had been with his mother, Juana Perez, at the market on the same day that he was snatched. Perez traveled to Mexico City in order to request President Andres' Manuel Lopez Obrador to locate her son.
Perez, who works at the market selling fruits and vegetables, said that Dylan would sometimes wander off to play but shared that no children had ever been snatched from the market to date. She revealed that Dylan had gone missing on June 30. The authorities have not given up on their search for Dylan and are still investigating the case to try and find the missing child.
They are also continuing to investigate the human trafficking ring.