Las Vegas police release enhanced photo after murdered boy found by hikers misidentified

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A murdered boy whose body was found by Nevada hikers was initially misidentified, and Las Vegas police on Sunday released a new digitally enhanced photo of the young homicide victim in hopes someone will come forward with information about who he is and what may have happened. 

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Sunday released a digitally enhanced picture of the victim provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Authorities are asking teachers, in particular, to pay close attention to the newly released image. 

Detectives believe he is between the ages of 8 and 12. He is 4-foot-11 and weighs 123 pounds.

A group of hikers around 7:30 a.m. Friday was walking by Mountain Springs Trailhead, located near mile marker 20 on State Route 160, when one member of the party went behind a bush and discovered the body of a “very young juvenile,” Lt. Raymond Spencer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said at a press conference. 

Spencer said the boy was “clearly the victim of a homicide,” but declined to comment on how he died. 

Authorities released a digitally enhanced image of the young homicide victim in hopes someone can provide information about his identify. After police first released a sketch of the boy found dead, a mother came forward and misidentified him as her missing son. 
((Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/ National Center for Missing & Exploited Children) )

A mother who saw media reports early Saturday with a sketch of the victim first released by authorities contacted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and misidentified him as her 8-year-old son. Her son was last seen leaving his house around 9 p.m. Thursday with his 11-year-old half-brother, Eden Montes, and their biological father, 37-year-old Jose Montes-Herrera. 

After holding another press conference at 9 a.m. Saturday, Las Vegas police soon learned that the 8-year-old boy, Eden Montes and Jose Montes-Herrera “had been camping in an area of central Utah that was outside cellphone reception.” Officers later confirmed that the two boys and their father were safe. 

The highway near where the body was found leads between Las Vegas and Pahrump in a town called Mountain Pass. 

Spencer said investigators believe the body had been left within 24 hours from the time hikers later reported finding the boy unresponsive and medical personnel, who arrived about 15 minutes later, pronounced him dead at the scene. 

Las Vegas authorities initially released a sketch of the unidentified boy. 
(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department  )

“Due to the location of the body, the victim may have lived in Las Vegas, Pahrump, Baker or other nearby cities,” police said in a press release. Spencer said he urged anyone in the Las Vegas Valley, Pahrump or the bordering remote communities in southern California to help identify the boy.  

Anyone with information is asked to call the 24-hour tip line at 702-828-3521 or 702-828-2907. 

The Las Vegas homicide section can be reached by email at [email protected] Anonymous tips can be provided by contacting Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555 or online at

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