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The Wayne County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday that it found the body of missing mother Selena Hidalgo-Calderon in Sodus, and her boyfriend has been charged in connection to the case.
Police are still searching for Hidalgo-Calderon's 14-month-old son Owen Hidalgo-Calderon.
Hidalgo-Calderon's body was located in a bag in the woods Wednesday behind a farm on Joy Road where it was believed Hidalgo-Calderon worked. Alberto "Ebavardo Gutierrez" Reyes, Hidalgo-Calderon's boyfriend, was charged with tampering with physical evidence, a Class E felony.
Hidalgo-Calderon, 18, and Owen went missing more than a week ago. Hidalgo-Calderon was last seen on May 16, on Joy Road in Sodus, deputies said. She and her son were together, according to police.
When deputies found Hidalgo-Calderon's body, it was badly decomposed and the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office had to identify the body, Sheriff Barry Virts said. Police are still awaiting an official cause of death.
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office announced that it found the body of missing mother Selena Hidalgo-Calderon in Sodus, and her boyfriend has been charged in connection to the case. The search continues for 14-month-old Owen Hidalgo-Calderon. Will Cleveland, Virginia Butler
Reyes, who is from Mexico, admitted to removing the body from the couple's shared home on the farm and burying it between two logs, according to Virts. Police found Reyes on a farm in York, Livingston County.
"We believe (Hidalgo-Calderon) was murdered at the home," Virts said. "It is beyond my realm of reasoning why someone would be killed and why a small infant is still missing. I can't explain it. I don't know how rational people can explain it."
Reyes would not answer questions about Owen's whereabouts, Virts said.
Reyes was arraigned in Sodus Town Court and remanded to the Wayne County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to return to court at 1 p.m. on May 29 for a preliminary hearing.
Hidalgo-Calderon, who was from Guatemala and speaks little English, has lived in the U.S. since November 2016, said Rebecca Fuentes of the Workers' Center of Central New York, who, along with Calderon's family, held a news conference Wednesday in Sodus asking for help in finding the missing mother and her son.
"It is very difficult to engage our Hispanic community, because they are afraid," Virts said. "And I don't want them to be afraid of my deputies or the Sheriff's Office."
He said he doesn't care if the victim of a crime is in this country legally or illegally. "We will fight for you," Virts said.
“My daughter and my grandson were my life, she was my first born and I feel like a piece of my heart is gone," Estela Calderon, Hidalgo-Calderon's mother, said in a statement through the Workers' Center of Central New York.
Calderon, reported her daughter and grandson missing on Sunday, three days after last texting with Hidalgo-Calderon. The two typically communicate at the end of each day, Calderon said.
Hidalgo-Calderon was in the process of being deported and her family was in the process of applying for asylum, Fuentes said. Hidalgo-Calderon had been making all of her court dates, which were in the Buffalo area, Fuentes said. Her next court appearance was scheduled for June 5.
Hidalgo-Calderon has lived in the Sodus area for the last three months with Reyes, 25, who she met while working at an area farm, Fuentes said. The pair have lived together since November 2017.
Her family believed that mother and son were with Reyes.
Owen is about 2 feet tall and weighs around 30 pounds. Fuentes said Owen is currently bald. The boy also has asthma.
The search for Owen will continue Friday on the Joy Road farm.
Virts said deputies initially responded to a home at 5742 S. Geneva Road in Sodus early Sunday after receiving a call to 911 to check the welfare of Hidalgo-Calderon.
No one answered the door and deputies saw no activity at the home.
Later Sunday, deputies received information that Hidalgo-Calderon and Owen lived at a residence at 5655 Joy Road. Again, deputies responded and found no one home. Reyes also lived at the home at the Joy Road farm.
They had lived at the home for about three weeks, Virts said, and worked at the Joy Road farm.
At this point, deputies started a missing persons investigation, Virts said. Investigators began checking the immediate area and conducting interviews.
Monday morning, divers checked a pond at the farm and police dogs searched the area, yielding negative results.
Virts said Owen went to day care while Hidalgo-Calderon worked. Owen wasn't at day care on May 17 or May 18.
Deputies followed a lead to check a location in Attica, Wyoming County, but that was unsuccessful, Virts said.
On Tuesday, investigators went to the Elbridge and Owasco areas near Syracuse to interview family members. Authorities also checked train and bus stations in Syracuse, Rochester, and Geneva.
Family members told investigators that Hidalgo-Calderon and Reyes may have "run off because of their immigration status," Virts said.
Virts reached out to "Hispanic advocates, seeking information on Selena and Owen's whereabouts." A search warrant was obtained for the Joy Road home and a Greece police cadaver dog "alerted" at the doorway of the home, Virts said.
Deputies saw a man checking his hunting trail cameras near the property. Footage from the cameras was reviewed, and Virts said Reyes was seen "in and out of the woods for a five-hour period carrying a shovel on Thursday, May 17."
Investigators looked for Reyes in Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties. Grid searches began Wednesday, led by the New York State Forest Rangers, Virts said.
At 10:22 a.m. Wednesday, the body of a woman, later identified as Hidalgo-Calderon, was found between two logs near the home. It was covered by dirt and branches, Virts said. The body couldn't be identified because of decomposition.
The body was removed by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office and an autopsy was conducted.
At 9:09 p.m. Wednesday, Reyes was taken into custody in York, Livingston County. With assistance from bilingual officers from the Rochester Police Department, deputies interviewed Reyes.
Virts said an Amber Alert wasn't issued, because Owen was thought to be with Hidalgo-Calderon and they wanted to avoid "side noise" from the amount of tips that would likely come in.
"We wanted to concentrate on Reyes," Virts said.
Virts said Hidalgo-Calderon "did seek shelter earlier this year for domestic violence issues." However, he said they have no reports regarding Hidalgo-Calderon or Reyes with any law enforcement agency in Wayne County.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at email@example.com or by phone at (315) 946-9711. They can also reach out to the Worker's Center of Central New York at (315) 657-6799.
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