Abandoned in east Austin, authorities find 3-year-old boy after car wreck

Crime

DALE, Texas (KXAN) — A 3-year-old boy was found after a man abandoned him Monday in east Austin, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says.

Caldwell County authorities say Jesus Rochel, 27, left the child near Tracor Lane in east Austin after a crash. Rochel and the older brother of the missing boy, were in the car at the time of the crash, authorities said.

Vanessa Soto, 32, said the boy had gone missing after he went to the store with Rochel. County authorities received the call at 3:45 a.m. and responded to the Poco Loco Convenience Store at 20035 Camino Real in Dale to meet Soto.

Soto and Rochel were in a relationship and living together, authorities say, and deputies got the address for the home they were living in.

Authorities searched the home and found Rochel hiding in the house and had to use pepper spray during an altercation, they say. Authorities say the older brother was also in the home, and they couldn’t find the 3-year-old.

Once authorities figured out the 3-year-old was nowhere to be found, they registered the child as missing and endangered. Authorities called the Texas Rangers to help search, but they also got a license plate number for a car Rochel had been driving.

They later found out the car was towed from Tracor Lane where it was wrecked earlier, and after authorities called the Austin Police Department to check the area, APD found the 3-year-old in a wooded area near where the car was towed from.

The boy was taken to Dell Children’s Medical Center for evaluation.

Soto faces a charge of filing a false report to a peace officer. Rochel faces a charge of assault on a public servant, and during the investigation, it was also found he had an outstanding Travis County warrant for assault with family violence.

Both are listed as in custody at Caldwell County Jail.

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