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Jun 21, 2005

Fears mount for missing 4-year-old

Story PictureMissing persons are reported to the police and media every day. Most are teenage runaways who soon return home or people with mental problems who are eventually reunited with loved ones. But tonight at a ranch north of Ladyville, the family of a missing four-year-old boy is running out of hope. It has been over forty-eight hours since the child was last seen and none of the various scenarios for his disappearance promise a happy ending. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has the story from Trinidad Farm.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Four-year-old Rudy Misael Lopez was playing ball with his brothers in front of their family?s house around five Sunday evening when the child disappeared without a trace. Rosalina and Santos Lopez searched desperately until two the following morning, but their son remains missing. The case is disturbing because where the family resides, on a cattle ranch, consists of wide open land and the family would have been able to easily see the child if he had wandered off the property or speak with a stranger. Lopez says during the search they came across paw prints believed to have been made by a jaguar that they say has been attacking the farm?s sheep. Although they fear that the animal may have killed their son, no evidence could be found to suggest that such an attack took place. Since the boy was discovered to be missing, the authorities have joined in the search.

Rosalina Lopez, Mother of Missing Boy
?At daybreak we informed our boss and he and his workers started to look for him. We also informed the police yesterday. Some B.D.F. soldiers came as well to help look, but they didn?t find him.?

Family members were stumped, but around ten on Monday night one of the farm workers received a troubling call on his cell phone that suggests the child may have been abducted. Lopez says the caller, who did not speak Spanish well, told them that he had the little boy. Lopez says the man did not ask for anything, nor offer to return the child. Today she pleaded to the man to safely return her son.

Rosalina Lopez
?What I want to tell him is not to hurt my little boy. Please tell me what you want from us. He is just an innocent child. I don?t want you to hurt him. Don?t be cold-hearted, don?t make me suffer anymore. I love my son very much.?

The police say they have been trying to locate the child and have been following up on a number of leads, but so far they have come up empty-handed. The family says they have no enemies and do not know why anyone would want to harm them. Authorities are appealing to the public that if they know the whereabouts of four-year-old Rudy Misael Lopez to please contact the nearest police station. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.
If you can help the Lopez family locate their son please contact them at telephone numbers 622-1205 or 604-8123.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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