The stepmother of a 5-year-old Kansas boy who has been missing for four days was arrested Wednesday on two counts of endangering a child, Wichita police said. "The charges are related to new information gathered during this investigation", Deputy Police Chief Gavin Seiler said Wednesday afternoon. Officers were notified around 6:15 p.m. that the boy was missing.
Police have many questions to answer in the continuing investigation, but he can't elaborate, Seiler said. He's described 4 feet tall and weighs around 60 pounds. "We hope that we are able to find Lucas", Seiler said.
Officers and dogs have searched his home, neighborhood and the 216-acre Chisholm Creek Park. He said the best thing people can do is submit tips by calling (316) 383-4661.
Lucas' great-aunt Sally Rasmussen meanwhile has told ABC News that she reported possible child abuse to Kansas Child Protective Services in May after seeing a picture of Lucas which appeared to show marks on his arms and cheeks.
People attend a vigil for missing Kansas boy, Lucas Hernandez on February 19, 2018.
Two relatives of the boy told the Wichita Eagle they had concerns about the boy's welfare in the past, and the child's great aunt said she contacted the Kansas Department of Children and Families last spring.
The child's great-grandmother Jeannie Houchin on Wednesday told the Eagle that Lucas once told her his stepmother kicked him and dragged him across the room. The Kansas Department for Children and Families, of which Child Protective Services is a part, said it couldn't share any information on its cases either but expressed worry for Lucas. Rasmussen said relatives grew more concerned when Lucas and his father, Johnathan Hernandez, visited New Mexico in November. "That's why we continue to ask the community to call us if they have any information they believe could help us in locating Lucas Hernandez". Lucas Hernandez still has not been found.
Authorities wouldn't confirm they received reports of abuse. "This is a serious thing and we want him home". She said she reported the concerns to the state child protection agency, which wouldn't comment to the paper.