2011-04-07 / Top Stories

After 15 Months, Police Still Have No Leads On Missing Boy

By Neil S. Friedman

Patrick Alford Patrick Alford Some Starrett City residents were more puzzled than alarmed last week by the sizeable police presence in their community. Various NYPD vehicles and mounted officers dotted the streets in the vicinity of Pennsylvania and Vandalia avenues as the NYPD assigned scores of officers to the community in its ongoing efforts to obtain fresh clues and to maintain awareness in the case of a missing boy, who disappeared on January 22, 2010.

Police officers on foot and on horses scattered through the area to hand out flyers and inform passersby that they were still seeking any information in their year-old search for Patrick Alford, who is now eight. Alford vanished fifteen months ago after he accompanied his foster mother while she was taking out the trash from the apartment in which they lived.

Hundreds of personnel from the 75th Precinct, the National Park Service and other units of the NYPD were part of what a deputy police commissioner called “one of the most intensive searches in recent memory” in the days after Alford went missing. For days and weeks in the winter of 2010, police combed wooded areas in and around the Jamaica Bay coastline, from Spring Creek to Howard Beach, searching but never finding a trace of the youngster.

Part of the large police presence on the streets of Starrett City last week. 
Neil S. Friedman Part of the large police presence on the streets of Starrett City last week. Neil S. Friedman Last fall, at a march to keep awareness of the ongoing search alive, the boy’s birth mother, Jennifer Rodriguez, announced an increase in the reward for finding her son with money contributed by her uncle and other relatives. The total reward stands at $62,000, including a portion from police and Crime Stoppers.

“I need people to know my son is missing, and I know somebody knows something about my son, and nobody is saying anything,” said Rodriguez as she broke into tears. “I will do anything in the world to feel my son, to hear his voice.”

After the boy’s disappearance, police initially focused on the 23-yearold mother, who lives on Staten Island, but she never became a suspect. However, she was ordered jailed “for withholding information” about her son’s whereabouts, but was released a week later.

On the informational flyer police handed out last week, it recommends anyone with information to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or the New York City Police Department at 1-800-577-8477.

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