LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Alberta Amezcua screamed and fell to the ground when she approached the crime scene tape on Saddle Brook Park Drive as she feared something terrible had happened to her close friends.
The reality was worse than she expected after police announced a young boy she'd known had been found dead inside a freezer in her friends' home.
"It's heartbreaking," she said. "What goes through people's minds? He was only two years old. He was such a happy kid."
Police said they'd found the body after a roller coaster of a day beginning at 9 a.m. at a nearby school.
They said the boy's older sister had given a note written by their mother to a teacher.
The note said the mom was being held against her will, and she wasn't sure if her son was alive as she hadn't seen him since December.
Police began to watch the home and saw the mother leaving with her boyfriend, who police believed to be holding her captive.
"I know he was very aggressive, just learning from his ex how he was," Amezcua said.
Police originally arrested the man for kidnapping, and then searched the home and found the boy's body.
"He was so cute. Just outgoing and happy," Amezcua said.
The man, who had not been publicly identified as of this report, will face an open murder charge.
Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said resources for struggling parents are readily available in the Las Vegas valley with a call to 211.
"There are a lot of resources out there so we are not out here discussing such a tragic situation," he said.
The girl with the note was taken by Child Protective Services initially but has since been placed in the care of other family members.
No charges have been filed against the mother.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Ray Spencer says the loss of the little boy is tragic and it should never come to this. He stressed that there are resources available.
Police urge anyone in need to: