Police, Wylie Residents Desperate to Identify Dead Child

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Monday, Apr 19, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 PM CDT
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Police, Wylie Residents Desperate to Identify Dead Child

This composite image of the found boy was released Friday by investigators.

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He is listed as “John Doe” on a national missing children's website, but people in Collin County are calling him "Wylie's Angel."

Mowing crews found the abandoned body of a 6-year-old near Lake Lavon last week. But investigators say they are no closer to identifying the child, despite more than 100 tips from around the country.

“As an investigator and a mother, it doesn't make me sleep well to know we haven't identified this child,” Detective Venece Perepiczka said.

A worker discovered the body of the brown-haired, brown-eyed child five days ago. Investigators said they believe the body had been there less than 24 hours.

“To sit here and think that some sick person dumped their child off dead, it makes me want to cry,” said Wylie resident Ashley Whitmire.

The medical examiner has not released a cause of death, but said there were no signs of physical trauma. It appears the child had severe medical needs and was fed at some point through a feeding tube.

”Parents that love their children don't do stuff like this,” said Lavon mother Maria Mercado. “You don't just come and throw them away like trash.”

Mercado brought her 6-year-old daughter and her friends to the Wylie field where the child was dumped to leave their favorite teddy bears at the site.

“We know he's a little angel,” Mercado said. “That's what I have been teaching the kids, that he's a little angel and God took him home.”

The First Baptist Church in Wylie has offered to cover the cost of giving the little boy a proper burial, but it's too soon to say if the offer will be accepted.

Between Schepp’s Dairy and Crimestoppers, there is a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the child's identity.

A vigil for Wylie's Angel is planned is for Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. at East Fork Park on Lake Lavon, where his body was found.

Dallas resident Malorie Martinez is organizing the event. She also created a Facebook page hoping to generate new leads in the case. The group already has around 6,000 members.

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