SAN ANTONIO – It appears members of the public have been doing their best to help the Edgewood Independent School District’s police department track down Gary Alvarez, a suspect in the severe beating of an 8-year-old boy. However, those efforts have yet to pay off.
"We have been receiving a lot of tips from people saying, you know, they think they know where he's at," said Keyhla Calderon-Lugo, a spokeswoman for the school district. “But we’re still looking for him.”
Alvarez, 44, is accused of hitting and choking his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son and shoving his hand down the boy’s throat in reaction to a call from the child’s school about him misbehaving, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The affidavit said that the case came to light after Alvarez brought the boy to school with obvious injuries last Wednesday. He told school staff members that the boy had been hurt playing football, the affidavit said.
Staff members in turn notified school district police after the child pointed the finger at Alvarez.
"They're absolutely trained to do that. They know that when they see some type of signs like that that it needs to be reported," Calderon-Lugo said. “These were serious injuries, physical abuse, that he needed medical attention.”
According to the affidavit, though, the boy’s mother had failed to get him any medical help. It stated that Rosemarie Luna, 44, is a licensed vocational nurse, yet did nothing to address his injuries. Luna was arrested Tuesday on a charge of injury to a child by omission.
School staff members told police they had suspicions in the past that there was trouble for the boy at home. The affidavit said that administrators and counselors filed several previous reports with Child Protective Services after noticing that the child often comes to school hungry. It also said that he once showed up with a black eye.
KSAT 12 News reached out to a spokesman for the agency. Mary Walker, with the Department of Family and Protective Services, noted that the child was removed from the home last Friday. However, she did not address questions about the previously reported suspicions about abuse.
This time, Edgewood ISD police were able to intervene.
“Our officers are worried about everything that happens to our kids, their safety, their security in the classroom and outside,” Calderon-Lugo said.
They plan to continue their search for Alvarez. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Edgewood ISD Police Department at 210-444-4558.