The search for a missing child whose mother and aunt, who are twin sisters, were charged with murder ended at an Inland Empire landfill on June 21, more than two months after family members had last seen the boy.
Duke Flores, a 6-year-old boy who went missing in Apple Valley, was reported missing to authorities on April 25, but Jackee Contreras, Duke's mother, said she had not seen him for two weeks prior to that date.
For eight weeks, the Apple Valley Police Department continued to comb refuse at the Victorville landfill located at 18600 Stoddard Wells Rd., using search dogs, volunteers and employees.
The department said they had to pore over an estimated 7,000 tons of garbage in the hopes of finding him, but were not successful.
The search eventually turned from the Apple Valley area near the boy's home in the 22000 block of Cherokee Avenue April 29 after authorities received a tip that Duke was put in a dumpster, officials said in a news release.
Detectives believe the sisters discarded the boy’s body in a dumpster near the family home.
Jackee Contreras, Duke's mother, and her twin sister Jennifer Contreras, both 29, pleaded not guilty in the boy's death on April 30.
"This is not the outcome we had hoped for," Sheriff John McMahon said. "But we knew going into this search that there was a chance we would not locate Duke. I am extremely proud of the dedication shown by every person who continued to show up day after day, desperately hoping to locate the young boy."
Both Jackee and Jennifer Contreras remain in custody and are due in court on June 26.
#BREAKING Crime scene Investigators now at the #AppleValley home of six-year-old Duke Flores. The little boy has been missing for 2-weeks. Family is asking for the publics help in locating him. #NBCLA #Telemundo52 pic.twitter.com/stcS3LHMKO— Alexvnews (@alexvnews) April 26, 2019
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Specialized Investigations Division, Detective Narcie Sousa at 909-387-3589 or sheriff’s dispatch at 909-387-8313.
NBC4's Whitney Irick contributed to this report.