The family of a missing Texas boy may have sold him before fleeing the country to India, law enforcement says, and despite physical evidence, the case is turning toward a criminal investigation.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer said that Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez, 6, who hasn’t been seen in months, has severe health problems and investigators are concerned he’s not getting the care he needs.
Now, according to Spencer, the case is turning criminal due to the circumstantial evidence “building up,” as police continue the investigation.
“It is swinging more to a criminal investigation,” Spencer said, according to Fox 4. “The circumstantial evidence is certainly building up to a level where it becomes criminal.”
The investigation began on March 20, when police received an anonymous tip that Noel hadn’t been seen since November. Extended family members confirmed that they, too, had not seen him since November.
WION reports that officials tried to locate the mother, Cindy Rodriguez-Singh, who is alleged to have avoided contact with them. When a Child Protective Services investigator ultimately reached her at the family home off Wisteria Drive in Everman, they learned that Noel was missing, while his mother claimed that he went to Mexico with his father.
“It appeared to the [child protective services] investigator that the mother was intentionally evading authorities,” Spencer said.
When police spoke to the child’s father, he said he had never met or seen the boy. Homeland Security later confirmed that the father had left been deported to Mexico shortly before Noel’s birth.
“What I do know is that a 6-year-old, severely disabled boy cannot be accounted for and is missing, the mother has not been willing to cooperate with investigators to help us simply assure the child is safe and we desperately need the public’s help,” Spencer said.
On March 23, Child Protectives Services and law enforcement learned that four of Noel’s siblings, ages 7 through 11, had been absent from school and his mother contacted the school about un-enrolling them. Noel was not enrolled in school.
Also on March 23, police learned that the family, including the mother, stepfather, and six children (including Noel’s 5-month-old twin half-siblings), boarded a plane to India, with a layover in Istanbul, Turkey.
So far, police have no physical evidence of foul play or an abduction.
“We are coming up empty-handed on every traditional aspect,” Spencer said. “It’s going to be that one small tip that snowballs.”
Police discontinued the AMBER Alert, claiming that there is no need to believe that the other children are in danger, adding it does not mean they’ll stop searching for him.
“This change does not affect the course of our investigation,” Spencer said. “We plan to continue to investigate this case to the fullest of our capabilities.”
VIDEO: 6-year-old Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez — who is an Endangered Missing Child — was living in a shed with his mother, stepfather and six of his nine siblings.
The property owner gave @FOX4 a look inside the shed, Tuesday afternoon. MORE: https://t.co/V6Vp2Wloog pic.twitter.com/AfSSzelLcK
— David Sentendrey (@DavidSFOX4) March 28, 2023
Meanwhile, 71-year-old property owner, Charles Parson, who knew the family and considered Noel and his siblings as godchildren, told Fox 4 that he met Rodriguez-Singh in a grocery store during a time the family was going through a rough time years ago. He ended up renting a home to the family.
Parson reportedly said Rodriguez-Singh lost custody of her children previously but managed to get them back. He said he didn’t think she would harm Noel but doesn’t know what could have happened to the child.
Spence declined to speculate on whether Noel was harmed or what investigators think happened.
“There is a lot of holes within the answers that we have been getting as a part of this investigation that we have got to continue to fill,” Spencer said.
Parson allowed police to search a shed behind the home where the family lived. He told Fox 4 that the family had lived in the main home for nine years, but recently moved into the shed in the backyard. The family, according to Parson, included 10 children, with six of the children, including Noel, living with Rodriguez-Singh.
The other siblings live with grandparents, Parson said.
“There is a distinct possibility that he has been sold,” Spencer said earlier this week, adding that at this time, it’s speculation and the child remains missing.
Anyone with information should contact the Everman Police Department at (817) 293-2923 or call 911 immediately.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most — your children.
[Feature Photo via Evanston police]