Galveston police release photo of child found dead on beach last fall

Galveston police release photo of child found dead on beach last fall

Content note: photo of dead child 

Galveston police released autopsy results and a photo of the dead boy found on the beach last October on Jan. 30 in a push to identify the body, the department said in a release.

The department recognized that the photo release is not typical, but released the photo on social media Jan. 30 hoping to find new leads in the case. 

The photo can be seen here: www.facebook.com/galvestonpolice/photos/a.511441208959392.1073741830.482...

On Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 the Galveston Police Department recovered the body of a male child on the beach near the 700 block of Seawall Blvd. When found, the child was in the water, near the shoreline and was found unclothed. At the time of the discovery, no family or friends were present to claim or identify the child. The Galveston Police Department subsequently launched an investigation to identify this child and the circumstances surrounding his death.

The Galveston Police Department immediately reached out to local law enforcement agencies as well as the Coast Guard to determine if there had been any recent reports of missing children. Searches were also conducted in local, state, and national databases, looking for reports of missing children matching the boy’s description; however, those searches provided no promising results.

The department immediately reached out to the public to gather any information, releasing a sketch of the child in hopes that someone would recognize the boy, nicknamed “Little Jacob." Over the following weeks and with the assistance of the FBI, and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, detectives have pursued, and exhausted hundreds of tips, but Little Jacob still remains unidentified.

Evidence found and collected at the scene and during the autopsy is limited. DNA samples have been collected and submitted to multiple labs in hopes of identifying the boy, unfortunately, these methods have been unable to assist with the identification as children this age do not usually have fingerprints or DNA on file.

At this stage of the investigation, it is believed that “Little Jacob” died around Oct. 17-18, 2017. Based on reverse drift analyses conducted by the US Coast Guard and the National Weather Service, it is believed that Little Jacob’s body was put into the water locally, in the Galveston County area. Information obtained at autopsy also shows that Little Jacob was deceased prior to going into the water, and that he did not die as a result of drowning.

The child’s body appeared to have been in the water between 12-48 hours and autopsy results indicate that prior to his death, Little Jacob showed signs of neglect and injuries consistent with abuse; however, none of the injuries appeared to have been fatal.

At this time, a cause of death has yet to be determined. The Galveston Police Department and its partners will continue to treat this case as a homicide until it can otherwise be ruled out. Further investigation is needed to find out what happened to “Little Jacob,” and the first, and most crucial step in that investigation is identifying him.

In an effort to exhaust all possible routes to identify “Little Jacob," the Galveston Police Department is now releasing a photograph of the boy in hopes that someone seeing the true likeness of the child will confirm their suspicions that they know who this is and that they can help us identify him and the circumstances surrounding his death.

"We continue to believe that someone out there knows this child. Someone has seen him. This child deserves to be identified and properly laid to rest but for this to happen, input from the public is crucial," the department said.

On Feb. 1, Galveston Police Department received tips in reference to Aaron David Parra Nogueda who is missing from Guerrero, Mexico. Detectives have investigated and confirmed that this child is not Little Jacob. GPD and all the agencies involved are thankful for the support of the community.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for the successful identification and location of the family members caring for this young boy at the time of his disappearance. If you have any information regarding the identity or circumstances surrounding the death of “Little Jacob,” please call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

- Galveston Police Department

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