MISIDENTIFICATION: Police continue investigation into child’s death after body wrongly identified; two boys and father located safely

Local News

UPDATE (May 29, 3:45 p.m.) — Metro Police held a second briefing Saturday afternoon, clearing the air about the investigation into a missing boy and father, which was believed to be connected to another child’s death.

Metro Lt. Ray Spencer shared with media Saturday that Jose Montes-Herrera, 37, and his son Eden Montes, 11, were located and are “well” in Utah.

Police say their involvement in the investigation about a child’s body found near Mountain Springs was the result of a misidentification.

After receiving details over the phone from a concerned mother early Saturday morning, detectives and a representative from the coroner’s office went to the home of the woman who believed the boy found near Mountain Springs was her 8-year-old son.

Once at the woman’s home, officials provided photos of the autopsy and compared them to pictures of her son. At that time, the mother identified the child as her son. She signed an affidavit confirming that.

At the same time, the mother of 11-year-old Eden Montes — the half brother of the boy who was believed to be found dead near Mountain Springs — was concerned for her son’s safety. It was believed Eden and his father, Jose Montes-Herrera were together.

Over the course of the morning, police say social media posts linked the two cases together, leading to serious concerns for the safety of 11-year-old Eden.

Metro Police then held a press conference at 9 a.m. Saturday, releasing photos of Eden and his father.

LVMPD’s first briefing on Saturday, at 9 a.m.:

Immediately after the 9 a.m. press conference, police say they received information that Eden and his father were located in Utah. Due to this immediate information, an AMBER Alert was not issued.

Due to spotty phone signal, it took a few hours to confirm the location of the boy and father. At 2 p.m., Jose Montes-Herrera and Eden Montes were confirmed to be “well” in Utah.

Also with those two, was the eight-year-old son of the mother who originally contacted police. At that point, police realized the mother had misidentified the body that was found near Mountain Springs.

“There is a very, very close resemblance when you look at the autopsy photographs and the 8-year-old child [sketch],” said Lt. Spencer.

LVMPD’s second briefing on Saturday, at 3:30 p.m.:

After this misidentification, police are still no further along in the case of the boy found near Mountain Springs. There has been no positive identification on him at this time.

When asked about the Metro protocol in this instance, Lt. Spencer mentioned that the identification from the mother early this morning, coupled with the serious concerns for the 11-year-old at the time, led to police holding Saturday morning’s press conference.


UPDATE (May 29, 2 p.m.) — Las Vegas police say the brother and father of a young child found dead Friday have both been located.

The search for Jose Montes-Herrera, 37, and his son Eden Montes, 11, was canceled Saturday afternoon.

LVMPD Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer will provide an update on the investigation at 3:30 p.m.

8 News Now will live stream this news conference. You can watch it in the live player above.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas police have identified the child found dead off State Route 160, near Mountain Springs on Friday, as an 8-year-old boy.

During a news conference Saturday morning, police said the victim was last seen leaving his house Thursday night with his biological father, Jose Montes-Herrera, 37.

According to the mother of the 8-year-old, who positively identified her son early Saturday morning to police, the two left the residence and picked up the victim’s half brother, Eden Montes, 11.

About 12 hours after all three were last seen, the 8-year-old’s body was found by a group of hikers on a trail in the Mountain Springs area, off SR 160.

At this point, authorities are actively trying to locate Eden and his father. “They both might possibly be in severe emotional distress and in need of medical assistance,” LVMPD noted in a news release.

Las Vegas police are working to issue a multi-state Amber Alert for the 11-year-old child.

Eden Montes is described as an Hispanic boy with brown hair and brown eyes, 5 feet, and weighs about 110 pounds. He was last seen wearing an unknown colored t-shirt with “VANS” written on it, khaki-colored pants, black tennis shoes with “CHAMPION” on them, and a black Raiders hat.

His father is described as an Hispanic man with black hair and brown eyes. He is about 5’9″ and weighs approximately 225 pounds.

Montes-Herrera was last seen driving a 2015 white GMC pickup truck with Nevada license plate: “LV U00X.” The vehicle has a unique sticker on the back windshield that says “Mr. Express.” The truck was pulling a white toy hauler-type RV with a checkerboard pattern on the sides.

Police are asking residents in the Sacramento and Fresno area, as well as the southern or central Utah area to be on the alert for the truck, and to contact authorities if it is seen.

“We’re getting a variety of tips. He does have connections in Mexico, so any routes that would lead through Arizona or California into Mexico, again please, keep your eye out for the 11-year-old,” LVMPD Lt. Spencer said during the briefing on Saturday.

24-HOUR TIP LINES:

  • (702) 828-3521
  • (702) 828-2907

The department does not believe this to be a parental kidnapping situation as Montes-Herrera is the two boys’ biological father and “it’s not uncommon for him to take both children for weekends,” police noted.


Police are urging anyone with any information to call Metro’s Homicide Section at (702) 828-3521 or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.

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