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Mother of missing Wisconsin boy, man her son was staying with charged with child neglect

3-year-old Elijah Vue, last seen Feb. 20, has not yet been located

A gavel sits on a desk inside a courtroom
This Jan. 14, 2013, file photo shows a gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver. Brennan Linsley/AP Photo

The mother of a 3-year-old Wisconsin boy who vanished nearly a week ago and a man her son was staying with were formally charged with child neglect Monday in connection with the boy’s disappearance.

Elijah Vue was last seen on Feb. 20 at a residence in Two Rivers, where prosecutors said his mother had sent him to stay with the man. Searches by police and residents have so far not located Elijah.

His mother, Katrina Baur, 31, of Wisconsin Dells was formally charged Monday in Manitowoc County with one felony count of party-to-a-crime child neglect and two misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing an officer. She was being held on a $15,000 cash bond.

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The man Elijah had been staying with, Jesse Vang, 39, of Two Rivers, was formally charged with one felony count of party-to-a-crime child neglect. He was being held on a $20,000 cash bond.

Both Baur and Vang both appeared in court Monday afternoon for their initial court appearances, during which their preliminary hearings were set for March 7, according to court records.

Court records show public defenders represented both Vang and Baur during Monday’s hearing, but that a public defender had not yet been appointed for Vang.

A telephone message was left Monday afternoon for Baur’s public defender seeking comment on the charges she faces.

Manitowoc County District Attorney Jacalyn LaBre said Friday that Baur had sent Elijah to stay with Vang for disciplinary purposes and that Baur wasn’t in Two Rivers, located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Green Bay, when Elijah disappeared, WBAY-TV reported.

Baur told police she had left Elijah with Vang on Feb. 12 because she wanted him to teach her son “to be a man,” and she had intended to pick him up on Feb. 23, the station reported, citing a criminal complaint.

Vang called police on Feb. 20 and reported Elijah missing, telling police he had taken a nap that morning and brought Elijah in the bedroom with him, but when he awoke some three hours later he was gone, the complaint states.

Vang told police he was in a relationship with Baur and had been trying to help with her son’s bad behaviors, according to the complaint.