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Troopers Investigate Report of Missing Juvenile, New Haven Man Faces Charges

On 06/23/2024, at approximately 4:25 a.m., Troopers assigned to Troop F – Westbrook responded to an address for the report of a missing 15-year-old female. Prior to Troopers arrival on-scene, Troop F desk personnel were advised that the missing juvenile may be in an abandoned property in the area. Upon arrival at the abandoned property, Troopers searched the area, but were unable to locate the juvenile.

 

Upon meeting with the juvenile’s parent, Troopers were advised that at approximately 4:15 a.m., while the complainant was at work, they had learned that the juvenile was missing from their residence. According to the parent, they had contacted a friend of the missing juvenile in an attempt to obtain information about her whereabouts. The juvenile’s friend advised the parent that the missing juvenile was in possession of a “burner” phone and had several social media accounts. The juvenile’s friend went on to say that they believed the missing juvenile had met and corresponded with an unknown individual through social media. Believing the missing juvenile was in danger, the parent called 911.

 

During the investigation, it was learned that the juvenile had left the residence. Several days prior, the missing juvenile’s parent explained that they observed a white sedan occupied by a white male in the area. The parent made note of the Connecticut registration displayed on the vehicle and noted that the vehicle remained in the area for an extended period of time before departing.

 

Troopers canvassed the area and a CSP K9 team was deployed, but efforts to locate the missing juvenile were unsuccessful.

 

Investigating Troopers then spoke with the missing juvenile’s friend (Witness), who explained that approximately two months prior, the missing juvenile told them that she (the missing juvenile) was in a relationship with a male that she had met on Snapchat. The missing juvenile showed the witness an image of the male on Snapchat. According to the witness, the missing juvenile disclosed to them that, on one occasion, the male had driven to the area near her residence and that sexual contact had occurred. The witness advised Troopers that the unknown male was known to drive a white vehicle.

 

The witness further explained that the missing juvenile told them that the unknown male was going to break up with her because he wanted more girls. According to the witness, the missing juvenile tried to appease the male by saying she would introduce him to a friend. The witness indicated that the missing juvenile gave the male the witness’s Snapchat contact information and told the witness to talk to the male. The witness explained that during communications with the male, he asked her to meet up with him to engage in sexual contact. The witness explained that she became disgusted with the nature of the conversation and threatened to have him arrested. According to the witness, the male then blocked the witness on Snapchat . The witness further explained that she never knew the real name of this male or his phone number as they had communicated exclusively through Snapchat. Having viewed images of the unknown male shown to the witness by the missing juvenile, the witness provided Troopers with a physical description of the unknown male.

 

Later that same day, 06/23/2024, Troopers learned that a neighbor of the missing juvenile saw a social media post created by a member of the missing juvenile’s family about this incident. The neighbor recognized that the description of the possible suspect vehicle provided in the post matched a suspicious vehicle he observed in the neighborhood earlier in the month. At the time, the neighbor took a photo of the vehicle, identified as a white Toyota Corolla bearing a Connecticut registration, which was subsequently provided to investigators.

 

Investigators learned that the Connecticut license plate was registered to a white Toyota Corolla, with the registered owner identified as Marcos Alex Mendez Torres, DOB 12/22/1999, of New Haven. Additionally, Troopers found that Mendez Torres held a valid driver’s license and that his date of birth, of 12/22/1999, matched the date of birth associated with the suspect’s Snapchat username, provided by the witness. Additionally, Troopers observed that Mendez Torres’ driver’s license image was consistent with the description of the accused male provided by the juvenile witness.

 

On 06/23/2024 at approximately 9:22 p.m., investigators received information indicating that earlier in the afternoon, Mendez Torres’ vehicle had been in the area of Middletown, New York. At approximately 9:36 p.m., Troop F dispatch received information from an emergency ping conducted on a cell phone number identified as belonging to the accused male, which indicated the phone was located in the Montgomery, New York area. Local police were notified and provided with updated ping locations.

 

At approximately 11:12 p.m., Police Officers in Montgomery, New York located the vehicle registered to Mendez Torres and detained a male, identified as Mendez Torres. Montgomery Police advised Troop F that they had deployed a K9 team at the scene and had successfully located a juvenile, who had run into a wooded area.

 

Montgomery Police advised Troop F that the juvenile located in the wooded area matched the physical description of the missing juvenile and that the name and date of birth provided by the juvenile also matched that of the missing juvenile. Montgomery Police also seized a cellular phone from Mendez Torres and his vehicle was towed from the scene. Montgomery Police further advised Troop F that they had arrested Mendez Torres and charged him with Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Following his arrest in New York, Mendez Torres was released from police custody.

 

Based upon the information obtained during this investigation, Connecticut Troopers applied for and were granted a warrant for the arrest of Marcos Alex Mendez Torres.

 

On 06/26/2024, Marcos Alex Mendez Torres was located in the City of New Haven, taken into Connecticut State Police custody and transported to Troop F in Westbrook, where he was processed and charged with the following violations:

 

C.G.S. 53-21(a)(1) Risk of Injury to a Minor

C.G.S. 53a-94 Kidnapping in the Second Degree

C.G.S. 53a-90a(a(2**, Enticing a Minor – by Interactive Computer Service

 

Mendez-Torres was held on a $1,000,000 cash/surety bond and was transported to the Hartford Correctional Center pending his scheduled arraignment at Middletown Superior Court, on 06/27/2024.

 

This investigation is ongoing.




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