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Missing Boy's Brother Taken From Mother

November 01, 1987|United Press International

RIVERSIDE — New developments in the search for 3-year-old Bobby Crawford, missing for a fifth day Saturday, led police to remove his infant brother from their mother's care while they still searched for her boyfriend.

Jason Crawford, 18 months, was turned over to the County Department of Social Services at 5 p.m. after evidence indicated that his mother, Karen Hill, may have abused him, Sheriff's Sgt. Don Bender said.

"At first she told us the bruises on his neck had been inflicted by someone else," Bender said. "But now it is possible that there is child endangerment involved in leaving Jason in her care, so we took him away."

Bender said that because the evidence was not conclusive, no arrest was made.

Looking for Witness

Sheriff's deputies still had not located a witness, Raymond Farrell, who was questioned and released by police Wednesday night, then failed to show up for further questioning Thursday, Bender said.

Bobby Crawford was last seen at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the back of Farrell's dune buggy, which was parked at a convenience store in Glen Avon, Bender said.

Farrell, Hill's boyfriend, had left both boys in the car, Bender said. Jason crawled out and followed Farrell into the store, where they stayed for a few minutes, Bender said. Farrell told police that when he returned, Bobby was gone.

Bender said both Farrell and Bobby Crawford were thought to be in the Riverside area, and searchers believed that the boy was still alive. He would not disclose what evidence had led to these conclusions.

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