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Police Seek Women Named Xochitl

Law enforcement personnel are searching for mother of 2-year-old found in Bakersfield.

June 05, 2003|Li Fellers | Times Staff Writer

In an effort to find the parents of a 2-year-old boy found wandering on the streets last month, Bakersfield police are contacting women across the state with the first name Xochitl.

For the last two weeks, the Bakersfield Police Department has been trying to locate the parents of the boy, nicknamed Mateo. A nationwide media campaign has brought in hundreds of inquiries and tips, but there have been no major breaks in the case.

"The leads are dwindling," said Det. Mary DeGeare.

An anonymous voicemail message left on May 23 offered a brief hope that Mateo's mother had been found. The woman called herself Xochitl, and said she was the boy's mother. She said she hoped police would find a good home for the child. Police believe the caller is Mateo's mother but have not been able to find her.

Police have been calling women with that first name in Bakersfield, hoping to find the elusive mother. They plan to use data from the Department of Motor Vehicles to contact women with that name in California.

"It's our responsibility to follow up every lead, at least for Mateo," DeGeare said.

"He's in our hearts and we're not going to give up on him."

With no new developments in the case, Mark Arnold, the Kern County public defender, said his office could initiate adoption proceedings sooner than in the six months he originally anticipated.

Mateo, who is a dependent of the court, a status typically given to abused or neglected children, is still in temporary foster care and thriving.

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