Police now believe that the disappearances of two Yolo County teens is suspicious, and a $10,000 reward from the FBI is being offered for information leading to their return.
Classmates Enrique Rios and Elijah Moore vanished 25 days apart. There is little evidence to indicate where they went or who they may be with now.
“Someone knows where Enrique and Elijah are or has other information that will help us find them. The families of these two young men desperately want to know where their sons are,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the Sacramento Field Office.
Rios, 17, was reported missing by his mother Oct. 19. He was last seen Oct. 16 at the family home.
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His mother said that the last communication she had from him was in the form of text messages. One said he had fallen asleep at a friend’s house and was on his way to school. Later, he texted that he was under too much pressure and was going away for a while but would return.
The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office initially believed that Rios was a runaway because no evidence suggested foul play.
Moore, 17, was reported missing by his mother Nov. 6. She last heard from her son on Nov. 4. He told his mother that he was going after school to cash a check at California Check Cashing at 115 Main St. in Woodland.
Woodland police say a text message sent Nov. 6 on Elijah’s cellphone stated that he was en route to the Bay Area. That message was sent to a friend of Elijah, who has cooperated with police in their investigation into Elijah’s disappearance.
“Through this investigation we have determined Elijah’s disappearance is connected to the disappearance of Enrique Rios, and we believe both are suspicious in nature,” said said Woodland Police Chief Dan Bellini.
Bellini said he cannot discuss details because it would risk jeopardizing the investigation.
Both boys were students at Cesar Chavez Community School in Woodland, where they took classes in the morning and were enrolled in a construction program, learning carpentry skills, in the afternoon.
Information has been published on the FBI Sacramento’s webpage in hopes that someone can provide a lead for investigators. A reward of $5,000 is offered for the return of each teen.
A gofundme account has received about $2,000 to hire a private investigator.