May 25 – June 5 (approx.) In an exchange across from his apartment, Phillip Smith takes custody of his nephews Vincent and Zander from their mother Michelle Mendez. The children spend time with Phillip and his wife Jerica, and Phillip’s brother Gary Moore, Jr., the children’s father. Vincent is 5 months old and Zander is 2-years-old. The range of time supplied is because of the difference in stories provided. Phillip says Gary had the kids for two-weeks before they disappeared, Michele says she dropped them off on June 5. The couple are legally married but separated. She’s 19 and he’s 24.
June 7 (approx.) According to Phillip, Michelle comes to his apartment with two guys, a disagreement pursues between all parties.
June 8, Phillip wakes up and finds Gary and the boys gone. Gary’s court monitoring bracelet is cut and lying on the floor.
June 18 According to a court petition, Michelle filed a Protection from Abuse order against Gary She reported that the she had not seen their children for approx. two weeks and that Gary turned off his cellphone, left the state, and took the children with him. This case was dismissed on July 23 after neither party appeared in court.
June 30 Michelle went to eh WPD Exploited and Missing Child Unit and reported the children missing. A case number was issued and an Attempt to Locate request was issued.
July 4-9 (approx.) Gary returns to Wichita from Texas. Both boys are with him. He tells family he left town because he feared for the safety of the boys. He and the boys are staying with a female friend near 31st and Hydraulic.
July 11 Before dawn, Gary, borrows his female friend’s vehicle and leaves the house where they’re staying with Vincent. He leaves Zander behind. According to family, he got up during the middle of the night to avoid the police, since he was now wanted for a violating the terms of his probation. Gary says he and Michelle made the exchange and that she said nothing to him, just grabbed Vincent out of her arms and the diaper bag. Michelle says the exchange never happened. The police say they have Gary on camera at a Quik Trip at K-15 and 31st St. South.
July 29 WPD arrest Gary on violation of probation. At the time of his arrest, he has Zander with him. The child was released to his mother. He was arrested for probation violation. He was placed on probation after pleading guilty on a battery charge involving Michelle. In addition, he is charged with one count of tampering with an electronic monitoring device. Gary remains in jail on $850,000 bond. He has not been charged in relationship to the disappearance of Vincent.
Aug. 3 Saying they’re acting on a tip, the WPD organize a search of a lot near K15 and 55th St s..
Early Aug. Moore family begins effort to find Baby Vincent., they pass out flyers, put them on cars in the community and offer their own $1000 reward on top of $2500 Crime Stoppers reward. They insist that isn’t enough money and hold several fundraiser including a car wash. They create a Facebook Page Help Us Find Baby Vincent. The page now as more than 1000 followers. Mendez family does not join in their efforts.
Aug. 7 WPD hold press conference saying “Investigators have worked tirelessly in an effort to locate Vincent.” They say Michelle has agreed to be interviewed and has passed a polygraph test.
Aug. 21 After numerous call to DCF and the WPD by the Moore family, 2-year-old Zander, Vincent’s brother, is removed from the home of Michelle’s father Edgardo Mendez, a convicted child molester. Zander is placed in foster care. Several of Gary’s family members complete the paperwork to get custody of Zander. So far, they say background checks have not been completed.
Sept. 23 Moore family conducts their own search for the baby along and in the Arkansas River at 21st. This is an area near the home of Michelle’s father.
Oct. 8 Moore family is stunned when they read in petition and Motion for Termination of Parental Rights that police believe Vincent is dead. The petition reads, “… there is clear and convincing evidence that Vincent is deceased.”
Oct. several times – Moore family complains about bruises and scratches on Zander when they are allowed visitation.
Oct. 18 Baby Vincent missing 100 days. Moore family hold a candlelight vigil.
Oct. ___ Hearing to terminate parent’s rights postponed until Jan 2016.