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Elijah Vue caretaker Jesse Vang pleads not guilty to child neglect

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 16, 2024

MANITOWOC (NBC 26) — Jesse Vang pleaded not guilty to a charge of child neglect on Tuesday.

  • Video shows Vang and attorney enter not guilty plea
  • Police say Vang reported Elijah Vue missing but has not been charged in his disappearance.
  • Vue has been missing for nearly two months

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

On Tuesday, the man who reported the three-year-old missing, entered a plea on a charge of child neglect.

Jesse Vang appeared remotely from the Manitowoc County Jail. While Vang sat quietly, his attorney spoke on the child neglect charge.

"I have previously gone over that charge and penalties with Mr. Vang,” said Timothy Hogan. “We waive any formal reading, reserve jurisdictional objections and enter a not guilty plea."

Elijah Vue’s mother, Katrina Baur, has also pleaded not guilty to child neglect. Neither Vang nor Baur have been charged in Vue’s disappearance in February. Investigators say the boy was staying with Vang at the time.

Yolanda Godfrey has been searching for the boy since he went missing and attended Vang's hearing.

"I just kind of feel like we're dragging it out. Just tell us where he is,” Godfrey said. “That's it, just tell us where he is."

Yolanda says the organized family searches will continue no matter what happens in the courtroom.

"He's the first thing that I think about when I wake up,” Godfrey said. “First thing that I think about when I go to sleep at night. But I always say, 'we're going to find him’.”

She said they will not give up.

"We love him, we do,” said Godfrey.

Jesse Vang's next court appearance will in late June for a status conference.

The family led searches will reconvene on Thursday. They will host also be hosting a fundraiser for the searches on Friday at the Mikadow Theatre in Manitowoc.