As the search for an autistic seven-year-old boy who disappeared in Ciudad Juárez enters its second week a reward of 200,000 pesos (just over US $10,000) has been offered for information regarding his whereabouts.
James Martín Camacho Padilla, a United States citizen, had moved to Juárez with his family just four days before he disappeared.
He was last seen leaving his grandmother’s home at around 4:00pm January 21 in the Riberas del Bravo neighborhood. A witness later told authorities that he saw a small boy near a sewage canal.
Two days later a national amber alert was activated.
More than 100 volunteers, police, firefighters and divers as well as police dogs have joined the search for “El Pequeño James,” or “Little James,” as local news outlets have taken to calling the missing child.
The search has focused on the banks of the Bravo river and canals, vacant fields and abandoned homes and has been extended as far as Loma Blanca, San Isidro, San Agustín, Jesús Carranza, Tres Jacales and El Millón.
During the first week the boy’s father found his tennis shoes, abandoned near the Bravo river levee.
On Friday, after a meeting with representatives of the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding the case, Ciudad Juárez police were joined by a specialized six-member search and investigation team — and two trained dogs — from El Paso, Texas.
Business people in the region raised the funds for the 200,000-peso reward that was posted this week for any information regarding the child.