Mother and aunt of missing 6-year-old Apple Valley boy arrested on murder charges

Jackee Raquel Flores and her twin sister Jennifer Rachel Contreras were arrested and booked on suspicion of the murder of 6-year-old son Duke Flores


                            Mother and aunt of missing 6-year-old Apple Valley boy arrested on murder charges

On Saturday, authorities announced that the mother and aunt of a missing 6-year-old boy with autism have been charged with murder.

The boy from Southern California, however, still remains missing.

Jackee Raquel Flores, 29, and her twin sister Jennifer Rachel Contreras were arrested and booked on suspicion of the murder of Flores' 6-year-old son Duke, according to a press release issued on Saturday morning by the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department.

Duke Flores, 6, has been missing for over two weeks (Apple Valley Police Department)

It began with a concerned call police received from an unidentified family member to conduct a welfare check on the boy. On Thursday, police responded to the home in Apple Valley, which is roughly 45 minutes north of San Bernardino, according to the press release.

When they arrived, Flores informed law officials that the boy had been missing for about two weeks. Following this, she was arrested and charged with child neglect for failing to report the child missing.

A search for the six-year-old was launched.

It wasn't clear on Saturday why officials charged the twins with murder without having located the child. "The investigation is ongoing and detectives are continuing the search for Duke Flores," the news release said.

KABC reported that police searched the Apple Valley home where Duke lives with his mother and aunt on Friday. Officials also towed two vehicles away from the home.

Duke's grandmother Lydia Gutierrez told officials she grew suspicious after not having seen the child for a while. When Gutierrez asked Jackee about the six-year-old, she told her that Duke had tried to smother a baby with a pillow following which he was being held at a mental facility.

On Friday, the family lamented about the length of time the boy had been missing, KABC reported.

"I just want to find Duke. That's all I really want," the boy's aunt Lea Contreras told KABC. "My sisters, they are where they are, but right now, what we really want it to find Duke."

The family said that two other children live inside the house.

Apple Valley police inform that Duke is tall for his age, about 3-foot-10, has brown hair and brown eyes. The investigation is ongoing and detectives are continuing the search for the child. 

Anyone with any information on the missing six-year-old can call the police at 760-240-7400, extension 7412.