Mother, Aunt Plead Not Guilty to Murder Charges in Death of 6-Year-Old Boy

The mother and aunt of a 6-year-old boy who disappeared have pleaded not guilty to murder charges as sheriff's officials wrapped up a second day of searching a landfill for the boy's body, officials said Tuesday.

Jackee Contreras and her twin sister Jennifer Contreras, both 29, entered their pleas in the death of Jackee's son, Duke Flores.

Sheriff's officials searched a landfill in Victorville for a second day on Tuesday but reported finding nothing. Authorities were led there after getting a tip that Duke was put in a dumpster, officials said in a news release.

Duke went missing two weeks ago in the Apple Valley area, his family said. The search for Duke didn't begin until Thursday when family members reported his disappearance to police, officials said.

The case broke after deputies from the Apple Valley Police Department responded to a home Thursday in the 22000 block of Cherokee Avenue for a welfare check for Duke.

When deputies arrived, the boy's mother told deputies her son hadn't been seen for two weeks. A search of the property was conducted and Contreras was arrested for child neglect for her delay in reporting him missing, officials said.

She was booked on a murder charge two days later when detectives also arrested her sister.

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