Mystery and mix-up after child's body found near hiking trail

·3-min read

Mystery surrounds the identify of a young boy, who was found murdered near a hiking trail outside the US city of Las Vegas.

At around 8am on Friday (local time), hikers found the body of a still unidentified boy, who police believe to be aged around 10-years-old, at Mountain Springs off State Route 160 in Nevada.

Police said the boy had died within 24 hours of his body being discovered.

According to KLAS, a woman found the boy's body near a bush.

At a press conference, officer Ray Spencer from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said the death was a homicide, but would not give any further details as to how the boy died.

The boy has been described as Hispanic and four foot, 11 inches tall, weighing around 55kg and a sketch of the boy has been circulated by police on social media.

Lt. Spencer said the boy's description did not match that of any children who have been reported missing in the immediate area.

"It's paramount that we're able to identify him so we can begin the key points of this investigation," he said.

A boy was found dead near Mountain Springs off State Route 160, in Nevada. Source: LVMPD
A boy was found dead near Mountain Springs off State Route 160, in Nevada. Source: LVMPD

Mother's misidentify deceased child

After the image of the boy was circulated by police, a woman came forward and identified the boy as her son.

Early on Saturday morning (local time), police received phone call from a panicked mother who had seen the news coverage of the boy and believed it to be her 8-year-old son, even signing an affidavit with the coroner's office.

Police then learned the eight-year-old boy had an 11-year-old half brother, named Eden Montes, and he was also believed to be missing.

Eden's mother spoke with police and she too believed the image police had shown of the deceased child was her son's half brother.

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She said she had not heard from Eden in the previous 24 hours and that she was concerned for his welfare.

Police then shared images of Eden and his father, Jose Montes-Herrera, confirming both boys had last been seen with Mr Montes-Herrera.

However, it was later confirmed both boys were actually alive and well.

After a police press conference, information was received informing investigators Mr Montes-Herrera and his sons were in Utah.

Just before Lt. Spencer fronted the press again on Saturday, they confirmed not only was Eden alive, but also the eight-year-old brother.

Due to the misidentification, police said they are still seeking to identify the boy who was found dead at Mountain Springs.

Police are still working to identify the young boy found near Mountain Springs. Source: Google Maps
Police are still working to identify the young boy found near Mountain Springs. Source: Google Maps

Mr Montes-Herrera was in an area of Utah with no reception, which is why he wasn't able to get in contact with the mothers.

Lt. Spencer said police were "very happy" the mothers of the two boys were able to learn they were found alive, well and unharmed.

However, there is still a young boy who has not yet been identified and police are desperate to learn who he is.

"I stress, we are still working around the clock, trying to identify this child," Lt. Spencer said.

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