Desperate family of missing toddler Elijah Vue speak out as police search storm drains

The three-year-old hasn’t been seen in more than a week in Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Dan Gooding
Saturday 02 March 2024 13:26 GMT
Elijah Vue's family plead for help in finding him

The family of a missing three-year-old in Wisconsin is continuing to ask for help in finding him, as police search storm drains and the boy’s arrested mother tries to get out of jail.

Elijah Vue was reported missing from Two Rivers on 20 January and there has been no sign of him since, despite extensive searches at local landfills, rivers and woodland.

The little boy had been sent to his mum’s boyfriend’s house for “disciplinary reasons” around a week before, where he was allegedly subjected to lengthy timeouts and threatened with cold water if he misbehaved.

Jesse Vang, 39, reported Elijah missing after he went for a nap at 8am and the boy was gone when he woke up a few hours later. Police arrested him on suspicion of child neglect that night.

A day later, his mother Katrina Baur, 31 from Wisconsin Dells, was also arrested on suspicion of party-to-a-crime child neglect. She has also been hit with two charges of obstruction after changing her story to police.

At a press conference, Elijah’s grandmother wept as she thanked everyone who had helped with the search so far, while his aunt begged the couple for information on where the boy was

“Every day without him feels like a piece of our hearts is missing,” Linda Vue said. “We long to hear his laughter, to witness his curiosity and to feel the warmth of his embrace.

“The emptiness left in his absence is a void that cannot be filled by anything else.”

Ms Vue asked that anyone with information on the three-year-olds whereabouts come forward, with the FBI offering a $15,000 reward.

Meanwhile, Ms Baur has requested that her $15,000 bond be changed to a personal recognizance bond.

That means she wants to be released from jail without needing to pay that bill, on a promise that she will return to court when requested.

She is next due in court, alongside Mr Vang, on 7 March.

Elijah Vue was subjected to time outs and threats of cold water by his mother’s boyfriend
Elijah Vue was subjected to time outs and threats of cold water by his mother’s boyfriend (Two Rivers Police Department)

Police and volunteers have continued to search for Elijah, with Two Rivers Police Department saying on Thursday that officers had turned to the town’s storm sewers as part of its latest efforts.

Landfills, quarries and rivers have also been scoured, while another town has joined the search effort.

Volunteers in Fond du Lac, which sits between Wisconsin Dells and Two Rivers, have begun searching after it was reported this was the place Ms Baur handed her son over to Mr Vang.

"If he was here once, he could possibly be here again,” resident Jordan Dillon told NBC 26. “I’m just hoping for a good outcome, that maybe we can be helpful in some way, shape or form.”

However, as the weekend arrives, there is still no sign of Elijah, who is of Hmong and white ethnicity, about three feet tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a birthmark on his left knee.

He was last seen wearing grey pants, a dark-coloured long-sleeve shirt and red-and-green dinosaur slip-on shoes. He may have been carrying his red-and-white plaid blanket.

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