A week since asking for the public’s help in their hunt for 5-month-old Vincent Moore, Wichita police conceded Friday that they have located no physical evidence offering clues to the child’s location.
“Investigators have worked tirelessly in an effort to locate Vincent,” Capt. Jeff Weible said.
They have not been able to locate any family members, friends or Wichita residents who have seen the boy since he was taken by his father from a house near Hydraulic and 31st Street South early on the morning of July 11. Vincent’s father, Gary McKensey Moore Jr., was stopped by Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputies on July 29 and was arrested and booked into jail on unrelated warrants.
The warrants accuse Moore in June of cutting off the GPS bracelet he was required to wear as a condition of his probation in a 2014 battery case involving the boy’s mother, of skipping a visit with his probation officer, and of interfering with the parental custody of a child on July 29.
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Moore removed the GPS bracelet at approximately 4:45 a.m. June 9, court documents show. Friday afternoon, prosecutors charged him with one felony count of unlawfully tampering with electronic monitoring equipment, according to Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Dan Dillon and Sedgwick County District Court records.
Moore remains in Sedgwick County Jail in lieu of $850,000 bond on probation violations and for failing to show up for a July 7 court hearing.
To date, Moore has not been arrested or charged in connection with the infant’s disappearance. The baby has been missing for four weeks.
Police have said Moore traveled to Texas with Vincent and a 2-year-old son in early June – around the same time he cut off the device.
The 2-year-old was with Moore when he was stopped by deputies on July 29, but Vincent was not.
Investigators have determined that Vincent’s mother has not seen him since early June, when she dropped Vincent and his brother off for visitation, Weible said Friday. She has volunteered for two interviews with police and also volunteered for a polygraph test, “which she has passed,” he said.
Since dropping the two children off for visitation, the mother has made “numerous attempts” to see them, he said, but all of those attempts were denied. Those attempts continued after the last reported sighting of baby Vincent on July 11.
Law enforcement officials searched a wooded area near K-15 and 55th Street South for several hours Monday in response to a tip, but authorities said no evidence linked to Vincent was found.
Sedgwick County District Court records show a history of violence between Moore and the infant’s mother, as well as documents outlining the mother’s concerns over her children’s welfare when they are in Moore’s presence.
The day after suffering a beating and choking at Moore’s hands – an act that resulted in three misdemeanor battery convictions in October – Michelle Mendez petitioned the court for a protective order, saying Moore becomes “rougher than he intends to (with the kids) when he is angry and they misbehave.”
“He has never injured either of them, but if he doesn’t get help, it is only a matter of time before he hits them harder than he means to,” Mendez wrote in the June 6, 2014, request.
She echoed the worry in a second petition for a protective order filed June 18, about two weeks after the baby and his 2-year-old sibling went with Moore for his visitation.
“He’s never intentionally hurt them,” Mendez wrote, referring to her kids, “but he is rougher than he intends to be when he’s angry. He is abusive towards me every time he gets a chance to see the kids. He uses the children to try to control me.
“Last time he had visitation, he up and left the state, and turn off his phone and took the kids with him. I haven’t seen my babies in almost two weeks.”
HOW TO HELP
Investigators are asking anyone with information about Vincent’s location to contact the homicide unit at 316-268-4182, Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111 or 911.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for any information that leads to Vincent’s location.
Tips can also be submitted online at www.WichitaCrimeStoppers.com or via mobile phone by texting TIP217 then the message to CRIMES (274637).