CBSN

Search for toddler missing after mother found buried takes grim turn

Owen Hidalgo-Calderon

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

SODUS, N.Y. -- The western New York search for a 14-month-old boy whose mother's body was found buried in the woods enters its sixth day Monday, though authorities say he may not be alive. The search for Owen Hidalgo-Calderon has been a daily quest by authorities since the body of his 18-year-old mother, Selena Hidalgo-Calderon, was found Wednesday.

Authorities on Monday canceled an Amber Alert issued for the boy, who's been missing since May 16. The alert said he was taken under circumstances that led police to believe he was in danger of serious harm or death.

"It is my hope that Owen is alive," said Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts, according to CBS affiliate WSTM. "But we're also searching into the possibility that that might not be true."

The mother's body was found at a farm in the Wayne County town of Sodus where she and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Edward Reyes, worked. Reyes was arrested Wednesday night on charges of tampering with evidence.

Virts said Reyes admitted burying the woman but not killing her. Authorities said Reyes was caught on a hunter's trail camera going in and out of the woods with a shovel. 

The body was found wrapped in a plastic bag, the station reported.

Officials said the child was possibly last seen with Reyes on or around May 16. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Reyes was removed from the United States on two previous occasions in 2016 and 2017, the station reports. ICE said Monday that it has filed to have Gutierrez-Reyes turned over to the federal agency.

Reyes, held on $25,000 bail, is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday. He is not the missing boy's father.

Virts has posted daily updates online on the search. He reported that 200 people searching Sunday included representatives of the Wayne County fire departments, New York State Forest Rangers, state and local police departments, Federation of Search and Rescue, Missing & Exploited Children and ambulance and emergency management squads.

On Saturday, the search was joined by about 165 individuals, many of them from the same groups.

He urged anyone with information to call the Wayne County 911 Center.

Rebecca Fuentes of the Workers' Center of Central New York told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that Hidalgo-Calderon was from Guatemala and was seeking asylum.

Hidalgo-Calderon had been in the U.S. since November 2016, according to the Workers' Center.

"My daughter and my grandson were my life," her mother, Estela Calderon, said in a statement issued by the center. "She was my first born and I feel like a piece of my heart is gone."