Not a day goes by that Rosa Deloera doesn’t think about her little baby boy. She and his two sisters cherished the 15 months they had with Jesus – they call him “Jessie” – and made a birthday cake for him every year he has been missing until it just became too painful.
Nov. 20, 2022 marks the 15th birthday they’ve spent without Jessie. On March 20, 2008, when his dad was 30 minutes late returning Jessie to her Hempstead, Texas apartment after a scheduled weekend visitation, his mother began to panic.
“I was hysterical,” says Rosa. “I kind of felt it – mother’s instinct. I knew in my heart he was not coming back to me.”
U.S. Marshals have charged Jessie’s dad, Claudio Dominguez, in a federal warrant with custodial interference. Father and son, who would now be 16 years old, are believed to be in Mexico but could be back in the United States.
Jessie’s father was angry at Rosa because she had just been given full custody of their son after a contentious divorce, Rosa says. When she called police to her home, they told her they couldn’t do anything because she did not yet have the paperwork to prove it. The next day, a Monday, was a holiday, so she was delayed another day.
“It was too late,” said Rosa. He had already fled.”
When he vanished, Claudio was driving a green Ford F150 pickup truck with Texas license plates 73ZCM4. He wore his hair in a ponytail and walked with a limp.
Rosa has never stopped searching for Jessie, whose name may have been changed to keep his whereabouts secret. She realizes he likely doesn’t know he has a family in Hempstead, Texas searching for him – missing him. His eldest sister, who was eight years old when she last saw her brother, joined the military just so she could search for him. Jessie now has a stepfather and stepbrother.
“We want to know where he is, how he is,” says Rosa, a financial advisor in higher education. “We have a hole in our hearts.”
Above all, Rosa wants to ensure he is loved and has a good education and proper heath care. In a videotaped message to her son in Spanish, she implores her son to reach out to an adult for help. “We have answers that you may have questions to,” Rosa says. She tearfully begs for her son’s forgiveness.
Rosa hopes that someone will recognize the age-progression that a forensic artist at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) created to show what he may look like now. She pleads for the family of her ex-husband to come forward and tell her where he is living.
Jessie weighed only four pounds when he was born, and, at 15 months, was not yet walking or talking. She said it wasn’t easy on the toddler being moved back and forth to Golden Acres, Texas every weekend when she and his father had shared custody. She still has his stroller and playpen and has remained in Hempstead, Texas just in case he looks for her. She checks in regularly with NCMEC to see if there are any new tips.
“I’ve done everything within my power to find him,” Rosa says. “I think of him every day.”
If you have any information about Jesus Dominguez, please contact the Waller Police Department in Texas at 1-936-826-8033 or NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).