Search for girl, 6, still fruitless, but case advances against relative

Police and emergency personnel are beefing up their numbers as the search for a 6-year-old girl continues in Santo Domingo de Heredia. The girl is Yerelyn Guzmán Calvo.

There were significant changes Tuesday outside the search. A relative of the girl who has the last name of  Guzmán now faces an allegation of engineering her abduction. At the same time, prosecutors have changed the focus of sex abuse charges and now say the man abused the brothers of the missing girl not the girl herself, according to a statement from prosecutors.

In addition the entire family has been placed under the jurisdiction of the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the child protection agency.

The agency known as PANI is supposed to determine if there is a risk in keeping the remaining children in the home.

The suspect is a relative of the girl’s father. He was questioned Saturday and then released. That afternoon he was detained again.

The case against him appears to hinge completely on the word of the girl’s two minor brothers. Such youngsters are notoriously bad witnesses and can be lead easily by police. Prosecutors are seeking preventative detention for the 24-year-old suspect. A judge has yet to make that decision.

Tuesday the search itself moved to a nearby river that had not been looked at previously. Police and rescue workers have combed the area for a kilometer around the family’s home without success.

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