Mother and boyfriend charged after missing child investigation in Caldwell County

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office says that a mother and her boyfriend have been charged after deputies investigated a missing child report.

Deputies responded on February 24 at around 3:30 a.m. to a convenience store located in the 20000 block of Camino Real in Dale to meet 32-year-old Vanessa Soto, the mother of the missing child.

Soto reportedly told deputies that her three-year-old son was missing after going to the store with her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jesus Rochel.

Deputies obtained a home address which was not too far from the convenience store and spoke to residents at the home. They found a five and a one-year-old at the home.

After gaining consent to search the home, deputies encountered Rochel who was hiding inside. There was a brief altercation before Rochel was taken into custody.

Deputies discovered Rochel had an outstanding warrant in Travis County for family violence. They also learned upon further investigation that the three-year-old boy had gone missing while with Rochel and the five-year-old child when they were involved in a car crash.

Officials initially believed the crash was possibly in connection to a police pursuit along Farm to Market 812 but after a check with surrounding agencies they were told that there were not any pursuits within the timeframe.

The three-year-old was entered as a missing endangered child.

Caldwell County deputies then obtained a license plate for the vehicle Rochel had been driving and found that the vehicle had been towed from Tracor Lane in Austin.

Contact was made with the Austin Police Department to check the area for a missing child and at around 3 p.m. the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office was told that the missing boy had been found in a wooded area near where the car was towed.

Officials say the boy was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. His current condition is not known.

Soto has been charged with a false report to a peace officer and Rochel has been charged with assault on a public servant.

The investigation is still ongoing.


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