PATRICK ALFORD – ENDANGERED MISSING January 22, 2010 – USMCC000497LTWH – UPDATED 02.12.2014

PATRICK ALFORD

LF Patrick Alford POSTER

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Patrick Alford - Age Progressed to 11 Years Old

Patrick Alford – Age Progressed to 11 Years Old

Patrick Alford

Patrick Alford

Patrick Alford

Date of Birth: November 28, 2002

Biracial (Black/Hispanic) Male of Puerto Rican Descent

Height: 4’8”     Weight: 65 lbs

Hair: Black     Eyes: Brown

Missing: January 22, 2010     From: Brooklyn, NY

Distinguishing Features:  Scar on his left eyebrow.  Birthmark on his abdomen.

Last Seen Wearing:  Red T-Shirt, Blue Jeans, Blue and Black Michael Jordan Sneakers and a Blue Jacket

Medical Conditions:  Patrick has seasonal allergies.

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Patrick Alford

Patrick Alford

Patrick was last seen in the New York City borough of Brooklyn at approximately 9:00 p.m. on January 22, 2010.  Three weeks prior to the boys’ disappearance, he was placed in a foster home in the Spring Creek Development complex, also known as Starrett City.  He had told his foster mother, Librada Moran, that he planned to run away to be with his biological mother, Jennifer Rodriguez.  Patrick was last seen assisting Moran with household chores.  He took the garbage out, and never came back.  To this day no one has heard from Patrick.

Rodriguez, who lives in the New York City borough of Staten Island, lost custody of Patrick and his 4-year old sister after she was arrested on theft charges and admitted to using drugs.  She reportedly knew the address of his foster home, and her aunt claims she had threatened to kidnap Patrick.

Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer Rodriguez

A few days after Patrick’s disappearance, a judge ordered her to present her son at a family court hearing.  Rodriguez did not do so, stating that she did not have Patrick and did not know his whereabouts, which contradicted statements she had made earlier accusing her family members of having Patrick.  She was briefly jailed for contempt, then released after she passed a polygraph test.  Rodriguez later retracted her comments, saying that no one in her family had Patrick.  Various other members of Patrick’s family, including people as far away as Maryland and Florida, have been investigated in his case.

Blanca and Wilfredo Toledo

Blanca and Wilfredo Toledo

Blanca and Wilfredo Toledo, Patrick’s maternal great Aunt and great Uncle, have been questioned by law enforcement nine times since Patrick’s disappearance, as Blanca and Rodriguez blamed each other for what may have happened to Patrick.  Blanca has said that she has not ruled out the possibility that Patrick did in fact runaway saying his spirit seemed “broken” after being placed in the foster home.  “He wanted to come home, this kid was out of it.”  Her frustration is easy to see as she states that detectives have been wasting their time by repeatedly coming to her home, “The boy’s not here – he’s not here!  I wish he was” said Toledo.

The search which was launched in an effort to locate Patrick was massive.  Over 14,000 people were interviewed, 214 buildings were searched, 9,100 doors were knocked on in the area surrounding the foster home where Patrick was last seen and 7 registered sex offenders in the area were interviewed.

Patrick Alford

Patrick Alford

Also interviewed were 28 bus drivers, employees of 7 Brooklyn car services, 21 family members, friends and acquaintances, and 81 surveillance videos were analyzed.  Despite the aggressive efforts of law enforcement, there is really no leads as to what happened to Patrick.  Patrick’s family and friends have speculated about what has happened to this incredible little boy however, and Patrick Alford Sr. believes that Rodriguez and Moran were working together.  He stated “Her (Moran) whole story sounds ridiculous.  It sounds fake.  If he was threatening to run away, why would you bring him into the hallway (to take out the garbage) with you?”  This family is clearly divided and the exact circumstances that surrounded Patrick and his life, may never be completely known.

Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer Rodriguez

In October, 2010, Rodriguez filed a federal lawsuit against New York City, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Patrick’s foster mother and the foster parents’ apartment complex.  She alleged that the ACS took Patrick from her custody without sufficient cause and that they were negligent when they placed him in an unfit foster home instead of with relatives.  I was exceptionally shocked to learn that at the time of Rodriguez’s arrest, Patrick was actually living with an aunt, not with Rodriguez, which brings to question why this child was taken from his family, who appear to have been taking good care of Patrick.

Patrick and Jaileane Alford

Patrick and Jaileane Alford

In her filing, Rodriguez alleged that Moran couldn’t communicate with Patrick because she didn’t speak English and he didn’t speak Spanish, and that Patrick had repeatedly tried to run away and even threatened to harm himself after he was placed on Moran’s home.  A federal judge threw out the suit in March, 2011, but ruled that Rodriguez could sue individual case workers and St. Vincent’s Services, the child care agency in charge of Patrick’s case.  Rodriguez stated that she filed suit to get answers in her son’s disappearance.  As the years passed after Patrick’s disappearance with no more answers than the day he went missing, Rodriguez still maintains her innocence in her son’s disappearance, although her belief in what fate has met Patrick has changed.  While she believed that he had run away and was hiding somewhere in the beginning, she now says that she believes her son is no longer alive.

Patrick Alford Sr. and Patrick Alford Jr.

Patrick Alford Sr. and Patrick Alford Jr.

In fact, she has amended her lawsuit against the city, St. Vincent’s Services foster care agency, and Moran to now include a wrongful death claim.  This comes three years after Patrick’s disappearance, as under New York law, a person who is missing for three years and whose absence “is not satisfactorily explained” is presumed to be dead.  While Rodriguez attempts to declare Patrick as deceased will not be objected, the city has no intention of ceasing their investigation.  “The NYPD continues to vigorously pursue the investigation into the disappearance,” stated lawyer Suzanne Halbardier.

Rodriguez is also not the only one to file law suits against the agencies involved, Patrick Alford Sr. and the law firm Skadden and Arps, which was appointed by Federal Judge Gleeson to represent Patrick’s interest, have also filed suits against the city.

Patrick and Jaileane Alford and Jennifer Rodriguez

Patrick and Jaileane Alford and Jennifer Rodriguez

There has been a lot of speculation that states Patrick had emotional and/or educational problems – but let’s be very clear here, this is in no way an excuse for those that failed Patrick miserably, and I for one am extremely disappointed in the way these labels are being used to obscure the truth.  In fact, these very claims only go to further show how disgustingly ACS failed to help Patrick.

Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer Rodriguez

Patrick underwent a psychological assessment and it was determined that he urgently needed medication and psychiatric care, however ACS failed to act upon these observations, which I strongly believe were contributing factors to Patrick’s mentality that running away was better than being in that foster home.  The law suits which have been brought against ACS and the city seem to hold legal ground, and address the very grotesque negligence with which ACS handled Patrick’s case.  What it really boils down to is this … Patrick was ripped from his Aunt’s care (care in which ACS later determined that would be appropriate for Patrick allowing him to remain with family – yet they still made sure that Patrick remained in the foster home), with no reason.

Patrick Alford

Patrick Alford

ACS workers misled a Family Court judge into believing that leaving Patrick with his family was not a good option, and somehow thought that placing him in a foster home where he did not speak the foster mother’s language, and she did not speak Patrick’s language was in Patrick’s best interests.  Patrick was already struggling and needed help from professional counsellors, and ACS went and placed him in a home where he was utterly alone and unable to communicate at all with the adults in the home.  Can you imagine suffering mental illness, then being dropped in a facility where no one could understand you and you could understand no one?!  Someone not suffering with a mental illness would be confused, frustrated and terrified – so how is this OK for a vulnerable 7 year boy?

Patrick, Jaileane and Noria Alford

Patrick, Jaileane and Noria Alford

This is where I get really angry.  Patrick was in a home with family and was cared for and loved.  Yes, his parents clearly have their issues and for this reason Patrick was living with an Aunt, so how can we say that he was not in a good place when the family themselves recognized the problems and concerns and worked together to form the best option for Patrick?  Patrick was ripped from his home without reason.  He was placed in a home where his needs were neglected, and his emotional deterioration was ignored, he was a little boy that deserved so much better than what he got – HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  If you ask me – these ACS employees need to be fired and charged with their involvement in Patrick’s disappearance.  They need to be held fully accountable for taking this young man without reason and placing him in a tumultuous situation which in the end resulted in his disappearance.

Patrick Alford and Jennifer Rodriguez

Patrick Alford and Jennifer Rodriguez

WHEN ARE WE GOING TO START HOLDING ACF RESPONSIBLE??  How many more children need to die, disappear or be horrifically abused before we stand up and demand a change be made, demand that our child’s best interests are truly what dictates these situations, and insist that we protect our children from the horrors that sadly are prevalent in every case where ACF failed to that child?

Patrick and Elijah Alford

Patrick and Elijah Alford

It’s enough already.  It’s one thing to not have been aware of how bad these problems have become, to not realize what is happening.  It is another thing to know what is happening, and do nothing.  It is society’s job to raise awareness, to make these changes, to come together and to end this cycle of violence and ignorance.  Saying that you didn’t know what was happening, or that you didn’t know how you could help, isn’t good enough.  It isn’t an excuse or a reason to leave these children suffering – we need to stop making excuses because laziness wins over putting a little effort into making this world a better place.

Almost two years to the day of Patrick’s disappearance, his father, Patrick Alford Sr. was shot during what was initially thought to be a ‘home invasion gone awry’.

Patrick Alford Sr.

Patrick Alford Sr.

Alford Sr. was shot once in the right side of his head and in the right leg, after a group of five men attempted to force their way into the apartment.  Patrick’s siblings, then 6 year old Jaileane, and then 4 year old Elijah, were in the home when the shooting occurred and were forced to run for cover as the bullets raced passed them, fortunately they were not physically harmed.  Eight shots in total were fired, five from one of the intruders which hit Alford Sr. and three shots Alford Sr. himself fired with his own weapon.  When authorities arrived at the scene, they uncovered Alfred Sr.’s involvement with dealing drugs.  30 baggies of marijuana were found in the apartment and authorities believe that the marijuana was what the intruders were looking for.

Patrick Sr. and Jaileane Alford

Patrick Sr. and Jaileane Alford

Alfred Sr. was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital and was listed in critical condition.  Very little has been released surrounding Alfred Sr. regarding both his welfare and any charges which stemmed after the discovery of the marijuana.  Alfred Sr. did survive, and was/may still be in a wheel chair.  The best I could uncover was a comment made a year ago by Alford Sr. himself stating that “getting into a store was difficult to do in wheel chair, but he managed.”  Alfred Sr. has a LONG history with law enforcement, and has had more than 20 prior arrests, most of which involved drugs.  Alford Sr.’s family had a different take on the reason for the shooting.

Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer Rodriguez

They stated that Alford Sr. had been putting up missing persons posters for Patrick around a housing development where he was not welcome to do so, and the transgression is what got him shot.  As far as my knowledge, there has not been an arrest to date in relation to the shooting of Alford Sr.

Alford Sr. was not the only one to find himself in trouble with the law since Patrick disappeared.  Rodriguez herself was arrested about a year after Patrick disappeared.

Jennifer Rodriguez

Jennifer Rodriguez

She was charged with menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment after threatening her boyfriend, Sehadi Gjeshditraj, with a knife.  He had spent the night prior to the incident with Rodriguez, and hours after leaving realized that he had forgotten his wallet in her home.  When he returned to retrieve it, he was met by Rodriguez waving a knife at him and screaming “You’re not getting your fucking money back!”.  This incident is not the first time Rodriguez has been arrested since Patrick disappeared.  Earlier in the year she was arrested for aggravated harassment after she attacked a “romantic rival”.

Patrick Alford

Patrick Alford

Amidst all of the drama and questions, it is at times forgotten that the entire reason we are here right now is because a precious young man is missing.  Patrick is a typical little boy, very much like our own.  His favorite colors were red and blue.  He particularly enjoyed bedtime snacks (as do my sons!).  Playing basketball, reading Marvel comics, playing with cars (if I step on one more Hot Wheels, my head may explode!), and enjoyed playing on his play station.  He loved being with his family and really like to stay close to them and in familiar surroundings.  In fact, it seems as though prior to Patrick’s being placed in foster care, he was a pretty content child that never wandered off or threatened to runaway.  The only thing that is consistently said about Patrick by everyone who was involved in his life at the time of his disappearance, was that he was home sick, he missed his family.  My heart breaks for Patrick, as I feel that he was set up to be exposed to danger, both mentally and physically, and he was led into this nightmare by people who are supposed to be protecting children, not placing them in hostile and inappropriate environments.  Patrick was more than failed by the system, he did not even NEED to be in the system.  Patrick should be well and home today, he should be safe and with the ones that he loves most.  I won’t give up hope that Patrick will one day be found, because so many other people have given up on this little boy.  Good or bad, I will do whatever I can and whatever it takes to keep Patrick’s face in the spotlight and to remind people that no lost child ever deserves to have the search for them stopped until they are home.

When you crawl into bed tonight and are warm and content, please remember Patrick, remember that he needs you.  Remember to light your candles, and let them shine bright, so Patrick can find his way home.

Patrick Alford

Patrick Alford

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If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Patrick Alford, please immediately contact the New York City Police Department at:

1-800-577-8477

1-718-827-3551

OR

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children at:

1-800-843-5678

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~ by LTWH on December 22, 2011.

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