Details of Disappearance Jesus was last seen at about 6:00 p.m. on September 28, 1996, walking with a nine-year-old male friend on Park Street in the Commons area of Lynn, Massachusetts, near his family's residence. Jesus was pushing his pink Huffy bicycle, which had two flat tires at the time. He was on his way home after playing in Bennett Circle.
Jesus's friend told authorities that they were approached by an unidentified Caucasian man in his twenties or thirties with shoulder-length black hair. The man was walking with a shepherd/collie dog with one white eye and one brown eye. His friend said the individual lured Jesus away by promising him a new bicycle. Jesus never returned home and has not been seen again. He attended Connery Elementary School at the time of his disappearance.
Authorities identified the man as Robert C. Levesque, 26, shortly after Jesus vanished. Levesque lived just around the corner from Jesus's home in 1996. He owned a dog matching the description of the alleged abductor's animal in 1996, and his dog, named Peaches, was found at one of the seven addresses he had given as recent residences. His apartment was searched and investigators discovered duct tape and handcuffs. It is not known if the items were related to Jesus's case.
He called in sick at his job the evening of Jesus's disappearance and was arrested after Jesus vanished. Levesque was charged with a parole violation, motor vehicle offenses, and possession of stolen property in mid-October 1996. He has never been charged in connection with Jesus's disappearance.
The Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) accused Jesus's mother, Magdalena Rodriguez (some agencies refer to her as "Magdalena Ramirez"), of neglect in the weeks following her son's disappearance. The agency said that Rodriguez did not report Jesus as a missing child until midnight on September 28, six hours after his apparent abduction.
Others speculated that Jesus was abducted as the result of theorized drug use by his family members. Rodriguez denied any wrongdoing in Jesus's case and maintained that the claims were the result of racism against Hispanic individuals.
Various rumors concerning Jesus's case circulated after his disappearance. Some people claimed that he had been taken to Puerto Rico, New York City, or the Dominican Republic as part of a deal to keep Rodriguez out of unspecified trouble. She has denied the allegations.
Rodriguez has been interviewed by the police regarding her son's disappearance and says she is not concealing any knowledge connected to his case. She has since moved to another part of Massachusetts.
Jesus's father, Juan De La Cruz, had been accused of abusing his son and threatening to abduct him from Rodriguez's custody prior to Jesus's disappearance. Authorities stated that Juan was at home at the time his son went missing, however. Juan has never been charged in connection with Jesus's case, and maintains contact with the police handling the investigation.
There have been many possible sightings of Jesus around the country in the years after his disappearance, but none of the sightings have been confirmed. Jesus has never been located and his disappearance remains unsolved.
- Lynn Police Department
- Massachusetts State Police
Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 12, 2021; age-progression updated.