Family concerned about Wichita boy's welfare before he went missing

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

As the search continues for 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez, the boy's family returned to their home late Monday along with the FBI. Relatives watching from afar say it's not the first time an investigator was called there. 

Wichita police say the boy's stepmother last saw Lucas at around 3 p.m. Saturday. She then took a shower and fell asleep, and officers were notified around 6:15 p.m. that the boy was missing.

Sally Rasmussen is Lucas' great aunt, who spoke with KAKE News from her home in New Mexico. She says was sent a photo of Lucas last year and saw multiple bruises on his face and neck. She called police. 

"All these stories I'd been hearing for months about him possibly being abused," she said. 

Rasmussen only got more concerned after the father and son went to New Mexico. She says she and another relative saw more signs the child was hurt, and another report was filed in that state. 

Family pleading for missing Wichita boy's safe return

"They investigated and had a forensic interview. I guess police didn't think there was enough evidence," Rasmussen said.

Wichita police wouldn't confirm whether they'd investigated abuse claims in the past. 

"We're doing a thorough investigation," Officer Charley Davidson said. "We don't want to jeopardize an investigation, so I can't go into any details as it's still an active investigation.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families also wouldn't confirm whether they've investigated Hernandez or Lucas' stepmother.

For now, relatives are left with questions and hope the little boy is safe.

"When I first found out he was missing, I was suspicious and worried," Rasmussen said.

Lucas has brown hair and brown eyes, weighs 60 pounds and is four feet tall. He was last known to be wearing black sweats, white socks and a gray shirt with a bear on it. Anyone with information is asked to call (316) 383-4661 immediately.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families released the following statement:

“We share the public’s concern regarding Lucas Hernandez. In the event the agency has information, we will share it with law enforcement, assisting them as requested. The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is legally prohibited from publicly discussing its possible history with this family. We urge anyone with any information on this child’s whereabouts to contact law enforcement right away.”

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