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FBI offers $15,000 reward in case of missing Wisconsin boy



A woman leaves the Mikadow Theatre after attending a meeting for people volunteering in the search for missing three-year-old Elijah Vue, Tuesday, Feb.27, 2024, in Manitowoc, Wis. Katrina Baur, the mother of 3-year-old Elijah Vue and a man her son was staying with were formally charged with child neglect Monday in connection with the boy's disappearance. (Gary C. Klein/The Sheboygan Press via AP)

TWO RIVERS, Wis. (AP) — The FBI has offered a reward of up to $15,000 in the case of a 3-year-old Wisconsin boy who vanished last week, a police chief said Tuesday.

Elijah Vue was last seen Feb. 20 at a residence in Two Rivers, where prosecutors said his mother had sent him to stay with a man now charged with child neglect. Searches by police and residents have so far not located Elijah.

The FBI on Tuesday provided a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the location and return of the boy or to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for his disappearance, Two Rivers Police Chief Ben Meinnert said at a news conference.

The FBI reward is in addition to a Manitowoc County Crime Stoppers reward of $1,000 established Saturday, Meinnert said.

Elijah’s mother and a man her son was staying with were formally charged with child neglect Monday in connection with the boy’s disappearance.

His mother, Katrina Baur, 31, of Wisconsin Dells was charged in Manitowoc County with one felony count of party-to-a-crime child neglect and two misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing an officer. She was being held on a $15,000 cash bond.

The man Elijah had been staying with, Jesse Vang, 39, of Two Rivers, was formally charged with one felony count of party-to-a-crime child neglect. He was being held on a $20,000 cash bond.

Baur and Vang both appeared for their initial court appearances Monday afternoon, at which time preliminary hearings were set for March 7, according to court records.

Manitowoc County District Attorney Jacalyn LaBre said Friday that Baur had sent Elijah to stay with Vang for disciplinary purposes and that Baur wasn’t in Two Rivers, located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Green Bay, when Elijah disappeared.

Baur told police she had left Elijah with Vang on Feb. 12 because she wanted him to teach her son “to be a man,” and she had intended to pick him up on Feb. 23, a criminal complaint said.

Vang called police on Feb. 20 and reported Elijah missing, telling police he had taken a nap that morning and brought Elijah in the bedroom with him, but when he awoke about three hours later he was gone, the complaint states.

Vang told police he was in a relationship with Bauer and had been trying to help with her son’s bad behaviors, according to the complaint.

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