2010-03-04 / Other News

No New Clues In Mystery Of Boy’s Disappearance

By Charles Rogers

NYPD Mobile Command Post stands guard on Vandalia Avenue, in Starrett City, near building from where a 7-year-old boy disappeared. Charles Rogers      NYPD Mobile Command Post stands guard on Vandalia Avenue, in Starrett City, near building from where a 7-year-old boy disappeared. Charles Rogers It’s been more than a month since the seven-yearold foster child of a Starrett City resident disappeared from his home in the Vandalia Avenue section of the huge complex located a mile or so east of Canarsie.

On the night of January 22, Patrick Alford went with his foster mother, with whom he had been living for just a matter of weeks, to take out the garbage at about 9 p.m. The woman turned away for a moment and the boy “just disappeared,” according to sources involved in questioning her. She and her family looked for the boy for hours and finally called 75th Precinct police, who continued the search and called in detectives from the Missing Persons Unit.

The foster mother, whose name has not been disclosed, had been handling foster children for years and has not been declared responsible, either by police or by Childrens’ Services officials. But at first police thought the boy’s biological mother, Jennifer Rodriguez, might have a hand in it, perhaps seeing that the child went to relatives in another state. Patrick had been taken from his mother by welfare workers and had balked at being placed elsewhere.

Rodriguez was even jailed for nearly a week because she was suspected of withholding information in the case, but, after taking a lie-detector test and passing it, she was essentially exonerated and was released.

Since that time, detectives have held the case open and continued to watch her movements, according to media sources. The NYPD has even added $10,000 to a reward of $2,000 offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest and conviction in case something untoward has happened to Patrick.

An article in The Post Sunday compared, at this point, the missing child’s case to that of six-year-old Etan Patz, who was never seen after he walked to school in 1979.

In Patrick’s case, police dogs traced his last steps to a nearby bus stop, although the dogs had been used unsuccessfully to try to trace him down at the banks of Spring Creek, which runs next to the development from which he disappeared.

Anyone who might have seen him or who might have information on the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-557-TIPS.

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