3-year-old Elijah Vue still missing: Man pleads not guilty to child neglect

Elijah Vue, 3, has been missing since Feb. 20, 2024, when he disappeared while in the care of his mother's boyfriend Jesse Vang. Two Rivers Police Department

A Wisconsin man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of chronic child neglect in the missing persons case of 3-year-old Elijah Vue, who vanished two months ago.

Jesse Vang, 39, reported Vue missing on Feb. 20 while the boy was in his care. Vang is the boyfriend of Vue’s mother, Katrina B. Baur, who also faces a felony charge of being party-to-a-crime child neglect, as well as two misdemeanour counts of resisting or obstructing an officer.

Vang, who is the last person to have seen Vue, appeared for an arraignment at Manitowoc County Courthouse on Tuesday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Vue was staying with Vang, 39, for a week prior to his disappearance because the toddler’s mother allegedly asked Vang to teach her son “to be a man,” police reported.

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According to a criminal complaint, while Vue was at Vang’s Two Rivers, Wisc. home, he instructed the boy to stand next to his bed and pray as a form of punishment. Vang told police he eventually fell asleep around 8 a.m. local time with Vue in the room.

When he woke up three hours later, Vang said Vue was gone. He called police just before 11 a.m. local time on Feb. 20 to report Vue missing.

Elijah Vue. Two Rivers Police Department

Vang and Baur were arrested in February.

Baur has pleaded not guilty and is being is held on a $15,000 (about C$20,600) cash bond.

“She intentionally sent that child, for disciplinary reasons, for more than a week, to the residence. She was aware of the tactics used and the lack of care provided,” Manitowoc District Attorney Jacalyn LaBre argued in February, citing a sealed probable cause filing.

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“On at least two occasions during interviews she has provided false information on her whereabouts during the past week,” LaBre added.

Vang’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 28.

He is being held on a US$20,000 (nearly C$27,500) bond.

Vue is described as being ethnically white and Hmong, an ethnic minority group that hails from southern China and northern Southeast Asia. He has sandy hair, brown eyes, stands about three feet tall and has a birthmark on his left knee, according to a still-active Amber Alert.

He was last seen wearing grey sweatpants, a long-sleeved shirt and red-and-green dinosaur shoes. He may be carrying a red-and-white plaid blanket.

The search for Vue is ongoing, with a US$40,000 (about C$55,000) reward for information leading to Vue’s location, with funds sourced from the FBI, Manitowoc County Crime Stoppers and community donations.

Vue and Baur live in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.

Click to play video: '3-year-old Elijah Vue missing nearly a week as mom faces child neglect charge'
3-year-old Elijah Vue missing nearly a week as mom faces child neglect charge

— With files from Global News’ Kathryn Mannie 


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