Cops: Missing Boy's Family Took Off to Turkey Without Him

Texas authorities are now looking for 6-year-old Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez, not seen since November
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2023 8:17 AM CDT
Cops: Missing Boy's Family Took Off to Turkey Without Him
A photo of 6-year-old Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez.   (Tarrant County Sheriff's Office, via Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Family members say they haven't seen Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez since November, but an Amber Alert wasn't issued in Texas until last weekend—and now, authorities say the 6-year-old boy's family traveled overseas two days before that red flag was sent up. Cops from the town of Everman on Monday said they don't have evidence either way on whether Noel, who has severe disabilities, is alive or dead, reports USA Today. They noted, however, that the original Amber Alert issued Saturday has been changed to an Endangered Missing Persons Alert, a designation used for people with disabilities, after it was found that Noel's mother, 37-year-old Cindy Rodriguez-Singh; stepfather Arshdeep Singh, 35; and six siblings had boarded a flight Thursday to Turkey.

The story around the missing boy, who suffers from chronic lung disease that requires occasional oxygen, started unraveling on March 20, when officials performed a welfare check at the family's home after an anonymous tip came in on Noel's disappearance, per WFAA. At the time, authorities say Rodriguez-Singh—who has six other young children, including 5-month-old twins with her husband—misled them by saying Noel was visiting with his biological father in Mexico. Cops later found out that man had been deported before Noel's birth and that the two had never met. They couldn't get in touch with Rodriguez-Singh after that.

On March 23, the family departed from DFW Airport, on a flight to Istanbul that officials say didn't include Noel. Spencer says a pickup truck belonging to Rodriguez-Singh was found in an airport parking garage, along with an electronic travel visa belonging to one of the other kids dated March 21. The visa indicated a final destination of India, where Arshdeep Singh is originally from. Authorities with cadaver dogs searched the family's residence on Monday, a one-room converted shed located behind a larger home.

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Spencer says that an older man who lives in the main house has been cooperative with authorities. The police chief notes that, although a rumor has emerged that Noel may have been sold, police are searching all leads. "He could be anywhere," Spencer noted at a Monday presser, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Cops says Rodriguez-Singh has been at the center of previous CPS probes and has an "extensive criminal history." Everman police are asking anyone with information on Noel—described as about 4 feet tall and 90 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes—to call 817-293-2923. (More missing boy stories.)

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