EVERMAN, Texas — Editor's note: This update on the search for Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez is from Monday's search efforts. Read the latest update from police on Tuesday here.
After more than two weeks since the initial AMBER Alert was issued, another organization is joining the search for Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez in North Texas.
TEXSAR volunteers came from all across Texas and searched on foot, horseback, and with canines and drones. They're looking in wooded areas around the family's home.
Late Monday evening, investigators focused their efforts in the backyard where Noel's family rented a converted shed.
"This wasn’t the plan at the beginning of the day, things change hour by hour, so we’ll continue this evening," Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer said on Monday evening.
Crews spent several hours cutting through concrete. They moved machinery in and began an excavation of the back porch.
"We’re just being as thorough as we can and checking the whole patio," Spencer said.
Spencer told WFAA Noel’s mother, Cindy Rodriguez Singh, purchased concrete in early March 2023, days before she and other immediate family members flew out of the country. According to investigators, Rodriguez-Singh paid for an entire porch, its roof, and a contractor to put in a concrete patio.
"She doesn’t own the home. We find it very odd that she would spend her funds to put in a concrete patio in someone's else's home, especially one as elaborate as this one," Spencer said. "This was a pretty hefty investment."
Spencer said the landlord living in the main house is cooperating with the investigation and granted authorities permission to excavate in the backyard.
"We've all got questions, everybody’s confused by this case, everybody’s got a lot of questions in this case, and that includes the investigative team as well," Spencer said.
Spencer was joined by Todd Snyder, who leads TEXSAR’s missing persons unit.
"Obviously, every case is important," Snyder told reporters. "But I guess there’s a special place in your heart is when it involves a child that’s missing or lost."
Everman's Noel Rodriguez-Alvarez vigil held Monday night
Spencer said there's been no evidence to suggest the boy's remains are in the wooded area they're searching. Instead, he said, it's a place to start.
Search teams are not only looking for Noel but also any physical evidence that could help this case.
Several hundred community members attended a prayer vigil for Noel at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Everman Civic Center on North Race Street.
"It does mean a lot to be able to give something back to the community," Chief Spencer said of the vigil. "But we want to give more. We want to give answers. And we want to give justice."
What we know now about Noel's disappearance
Everman police first learned about Noel on March 20. The Texas Child Protective Investigations (CPI) reached out saying family members hadn't seen the 6-year-old since November 2022.
Police chief Craig Spencer said officers went to the home on Wisteria, where Noel's mother, 37-year-old Cindy Rodriguez-Singh, said he was with his biological father in Mexico.
On March 23, CPI said they found the father who said he never got to meet Noel before he was deported to Mexico. Police tried to reach the mother again, but she didn't answer.
An AMBER Alert for Noel was issued on March 25. Later that night, authorities learned that the boy's mother, stepfather, and six siblings boarded to flight to Turkey, then possibly India, on March 23. Noel was not listed on that flight.
On April 6, the chief said Noel is no longer an endangered missing person, and that investigators have determined he is likely dead.
Note: The following video was uploaded on April 6
In a search warrant obtained by WFAA, Cindy's brother stated to investigators that she told their mother that she sold Noel to an unknown female at a Fiesta Mart.
The brother also stated Rodriguez-Singh said that the unknown female should not be contacted over fears that Noel's mother could be reported to CPS, the warrant stated.
In the April 6 update, Chief Spencer said police have not found any evidence that Noel was sold or trafficked.
Spencer said investigators also disproved stories that the child was given to other family members, including the boy's aunt in Mexico.
"Although the course of this investigation has changed, our commitment to Noel has not," Spencer said. "We will continue to fight for Noel."