Details of Disappearance
Enrique was last seen at his family's Esparto, California home at 9:00 p.m. on October 16, 2016. He apparently sneaked out of the house that night and never returned. The last communications his mother got were text messages from Enrique's phone. The first message said he had fallen asleep at a friend's house and was now on his way to school. The second message stated Enrique was going away for awhile because he was under too much pressure, but he would be back. Enrique's mother doesn't believe her son actually sent those texts, as they were unlike his usual style of texting. He has never been heard from again.
Cameras at the Yolo County Bus showed that Enrique wasn't on the bus the night of October 16-17, and Esparto is an isolated farm community that Enrique would have needed a vehicle to get out of. He didn't own a car but knew people who did. He left behind his warm clothing, his California state identification card, and his last paycheck as well as other belongings. His family stated he was happy with his life, adored his younger sister and had no reason to run away from home for any extended time period. They stated he did use marijuana occasionally, but no hard drugs.
Enrique and his close friend
Elijah Moore both attended Cesar Chavez Community School in Woodland, California. They attended classes in the morning and worked for the Northern California Construction Training program at the Yolo County Fairgrounds in the afternoon, earning money while learning carpentry skills. Elijah disappeared three weeks after Enrique did. The two boys had other things in common: both of them were on probation for being involved in the same fight.
For the first few weeks, for lack of any evidence to the contrary, Enrique's case was treated as a runaway by authorities. His family, however, stated he was happy with his life, adored his younger sister and had no reason to run away from home for an extended time period. It wasn't until after Elijah also disappeared that police began to look into other theories to explain what happened. Although Enrique had run away from home before for a couple of days at a time, Elijah had no history as a runaway. Investigators and the Moore and Rios families believe the two boys' disappearances are related.
Although many agencies continue to classify them as runaways, Enrique and Elijah are considered missing under suspicious circumstances. Their cases remain unsolved.