Missing Wisconsin boy’s blanket found as search nears one month

TWO RIVERS, Wis. (WFRV) — It has been nearly a month since 3-year-old Elijah Vue was reported missing from a home in northeastern Wisconsin. As the search continues, police say they've found a significant item: a blanket belonging to the boy.

Elijah Vue was reported missing on Feb. 20. He was allegedly last seen by Jesse Vang, 39, inside Vang’s residence in Two Rivers, about 40 miles southeast of Green Bay. Vang is reportedly in a relationship with Elijah’s mother, Katrina Baur.

On the day Elijah went missing, Vang claimed he saw Elijah asleep as he got his own son ready for school. Vang says he later went back to bed. When he awoke, he said he found Elijah had disappeared. Vang reportedly told authorities he had locked the door, including using the doorknob lock, a deadbolt and a security chain.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by Nexstar’s WFRV last month, Vang had been trying to help Elijah’s mother correct Elijah’s “bad behaviors.”

Emotional day for community members at Baur and Vang’s preliminary hearing

Baur, 31, of Wisconsin Dells, reportedly told authorities that Elijah had been in the care of Vang for about a week. She allegedly described Vang as the “enforcer of rules” in the relationship and said she sent Elijah to stay with him to learn how to “be a man.”

criminal complaint also alleged neglect by both Baur and Vang, citing photographic evidence that appeared to show bruising on Elijah’s jaw, neck, side and arm. Authorities also found text messages between Vang and Baur that appeared to reference making Elijah “fear” Vang.

Baur was formally charged with one felony count of party-to-a-crime of child neglect and two misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing an officer. She was being held on a $15,000 cash bond. Vang was charged with one felony count of party-to-a-crime child neglect. He was being held on a $20,000 cash bond.

Over the last few weeks, authorities have continued searching for Elijah throughout the lakeside community of Two Rivers, including waterways and a local landfill. They've also scoured through large amounts of surveillance video and released information regarding a vehicle of interest in the case.

On Monday, Two Rivers Police Chief Ben Meinnert said they had found a red and white plaid blanket about 3.7 miles from Vang's home earlier in the investigation. They have since determined that blanket belonged to Elijah.

"We continue to request the public’s assistance in checking all urban and rural areas, including water, to find Elijah and locate any evidence related to his disappearance," added Meinnert.

$40K in rewards offered for info on missing Wisconsin 3-year-old sent to learn to ‘be a man’

The Two Rivers Police Department is asking the public to continue to search and to contact it immediately with any relevant information through its tip line (844-267-6648), the Manitowoc County Crime Stoppers P3 App, or the police department email.

A combined $40,000 in rewards is being offered in the search for Elijah.

The Manitowoc County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the discovery of Elijah or the arrest and charging of anyone responsible for his disappearance. The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for similar information. The City of Two Rivers is offering $15,000 — raised through donations from the public — to find Elijah.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Two Rivers Police Department tip line at 844-267-6648.

Baur and Vang appeared in court again last week for continued preliminary hearings.

Baur, the boy's mother, waived her right to a preliminary hearing and withdrew her motion to dismiss count one, the chronic child neglect party to the crime charge. She is scheduled to be arraigned later this week.

Vang, whose hearing was delayed as he awaited a public defender, is expected back in court on Thursday.

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