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Elijah Vue: Timeline of disappearance and search for missing Wisconsin three-year-old

The child’s mother and her boyfriend remain in custody as the search reaches the month mark

Dan Gooding
Friday 22 March 2024 19:34 GMT
Elijah Vue's family plead for help in finding him

A small Wisconsin town is continuing to search for a missing three-year-old boy, who hasn’t been seen in one month.

Elijah Vue vanished from his mother’s boyfriend’s home in Two Rivers on Tuesday 20 February.

He had been sent 150 miles away from home for “disciplinary reasons”, with details now showing that the little boy was subjected to lengthy time-outs and threats of cold showers if he misbehaved.

Both Elijah’s mother Katrina Baur, 31, and her boyfriend Jesse Vang, 39, have been charged with chronic child neglect.

As of Tuesday 19 March, the search is still underway for the little boy and the FBI has offered a $15,000 reward for information.

Here is a timeline of Elijah’s disappearance so far

12 February – Katrina Baur leaves Elijah with Jesse Vang in Two Rivers, around a 2.5-hour drive from her home in Wisconsin Dells.

12-20 February – Elijah is allegedly subjected to discipline tactics by Mr Vang, including standing time-outs, teaching him to pray and threats of cold water if he misbehaves.

Elijah Vue, three, was last seen in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, on Tuesday 20 February 2024 (FBI)

14 February - A photo is taken in the early hours showing Elijah lying on a bed, wearing a blindfold and with bruising on his face.

15 February - Another photo shows Elijah standing in a corner wearing just a diaper. It appears to be full and his hands are in the praying position.

16 February - Manitowoc District Attorney alleges Elijah is left alone for around an hour in Manitowoc City while Ms Baur and Mr Vang are elsewhere.

18 February - Mr Vang tells Ms Baur via text messages that he will teach Elijah not just to fear him, but to respect him, too.

20 February, 7.30am – Mr Vang gets up to give Elijah breakfast – cereal without milk.

20 February, 8am – Elijah is told to stand at the foot of Mr Vang’s bed and pray while the man takes a nap. This was the last known sighting of Elijah, according to Mr Vang’s police testimony.

20 February, 10.59am – Two River Police Department gets a call from Mr Vang, reporting Elijah missing.

20 February, 1.37pm – Police issue an appeal for help in finding Elijah, while an amber alert also goes out to the local community. Elijah is described as around 3ft tall, with brown eyes and hair. He was wearing grey sweatpants, a dark-coloured long-sleeve shirt and red-and-green dinosaur slip-on shoes. He may have been carrying a red-and-white plaid blanket.

Elijah Vue, three, was last seen in Two Rivers Wisconsin on 20 February 2024 (Two Rivers Police Department)

20 February, 5pm – Locals are asked to search outbuildings, vehicles and any other areas where Elijah may have become trapped or hidden, while police utilise drones and search dogs as part of their efforts. Jesse Vang is arrested on suspicion of child neglect that evening.

21 February – Katrina Baur is arrested on suspicion of being party-to-a-crime child neglect.

23 February – Search efforts continue across Two Rivers and Elijah’s hometown of Wisconsin Dells. Ms Baur and Mr Vang appear in court.

26 February – Two Rivers Police Department confirm they are searching a local landfill site as part of the investigation. Ms Baur and Mr Vang appear in court again, with the mother receiving two additional charges of obstruction. The details of Mr Vang’s tactics emerge in court documents.

Police and area firefighters walk along state Highway 310 near Johnston Road during the search for missing three-year-old Elijah Vue on Tuesday 27 February (USA Today-Wisconsin 2024, copyright, all rights reserved)

27 February – A week after Elijah’s disappearance, police say they are still hopeful of bringing him home safely. The FBI announces a $15,000 reward for information. Elijah’s grandmother cries as she pleads for help in finding him.

29 February – Ms Baur asks for her bond to be changed so she can get out of jail. Police say they have searched storm water drains as part of continued efforts to find Elijah, while volunteers in Fond du Lac have started searching the town, which sits between Two Rivers and Wisconsin Dells.

4 March - Search enters third week. Two Rivers Police Department released photos of a beige 1997 Nissan Altima, asking for help in tracking its movements on 19 February – the day before Elijah was reported missing. Law enforcement has possession of the vehicle.

7 March - The two suspects appear in court, with updated charges announced for Ms Baur. A statement from her mother is read out, asking for the judge not to let her daughter out of jail.

14 March - A judge rules that Ms Baur will go to trial. Mr Vang has requested a speedy trial and an attorney. Ms Baur’s arraignment is scheduled for 22 March.

18 March - Police reveal they have positively identified a blanket, found around 3.7 miles away from where Elijah was reported missing, as belonging to the little boy. The search enters its fifth week.

21 March - Jesse Vang appears in court briefly via video link, along with two new attorneys. His preliminary hearing is adjourned until 4 April.

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