Mom speaks out on missing 7-year-old

February 3, 2010 10:12:23 PM PST
The mother of a missing boy held a vigil in front of the building where he disappeared and where he lived with his foster family. The mother of 7 year old Patrick Alford, missing since January 22, made a plea for his safe return.

"I just want know where my son is. I love my son. He needs to be home with his family and he needs to be safe," Jennifer Rodriguez said.

But the vigil outside Starrett City in Brooklyn took a strange turn on Wednesday night.

Shortly after Rodriguez made a plea for help finding her missing son, police took her into custody. According to her family, there is a restraining order against her and she was not supposed to be anywhere near the foster family's home. Rodriguez was not arrested, they said.

Police still maintain a presence in the neighborhood, continuing to search for little Patrick a dozen days since he vanished.

Earlier in the day, the mother pleaded for the boy to come home. "Patrick, if you're seeing this, I love you. I am not going to stop looking for you. I just want you to be home, she said. "I feel like this is a bad dream, a nightmare for me," adds Rodriguez.

Jennifer had been held in custody for several days on an ACS warrant, stemming from problems she says that led to Patrick and his four-year-old sister being taken from her and placed in foster care.

She was released Tuesday night, and says she wants people to know that she did not have anything to do with her son's disappearance.

Patrick is 4'8" tall, about 65 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers.

Police have largely focused their search in and around the massive apartment complex.

Eyewitness News was there exclusively as a canine unit went about searching the park land along Hendrix creek just to the east and now his mother is hoping someone will come forward.

"I'm willing to offer a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to my son," adds Rodriguez.

Jennifer admits she is trying to work through problems to get her children back but she's also critical of ACS which oversees the children's care.

"They're supposed to promise my son safety in their hands. There was no safety and now my son is missing and no one knows where he is at," Jennifer said.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of this missing is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.