As authorities Monday searched a landfill in Victorville for the body of a 6-year-old boy who was reported missing, his mother and aunt were charged with murder, the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office said.
Duke Flores 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.
Jackee Contreras and her twin sister Jennifer Contreras, both 29, were charged Monday with one count of murder each in connection with the boy's death, though no remains have been found.
Detectives were led to the landfill Monday after getting a tip that Duke was placed in a dumpster, officials said in a news release.
After learning of the search, some family members rushed to the landfill.
"My baby grandson is being searched for in a landfill," said Duke's grandmother Lydia Gutierrez. "My heart is destroyed."
Yvonne Ayala, a Victorville resident, was shocked.
"It's breaking my heart," she said, choking back tears.
#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
She went to the arraignment Monday after helping volunteers search for the boy around his home.
"If she didn't want him I would have taken him," she 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.
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When deputies arrived, the boy's mother Jackee Contreras told deputies the 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.
Two days later, she was booked on a murder charge and detectives arrested Jennifer, also on suspicion of murder.
Heather Navarro contributed to this article.