The same week a search for a missing toddler appeared to come to a tragic end, the case continued against the man who is in custody in connection with the death of the boy's mother.
Remains consistent with a toddler Owen Hidalgo-Calderon’s age were found in a shallow grave on the same Joy Road farm in Sodus where Selena Hidalgo-Calderon’s body was found earlier this summer.
Alberto Reyes was in the Wayne County Hall of Justice Thursday for a Huntley hearing in which his attorney tried to have omitted from evidence a tape in which Reyes admits to moving Selena Hidalgo-Calderon's body. The prosection, however, says the statement should remain.
The tape shows an interview, conducted in Spanish in May.
On Tuesday, Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts said the remains believed to be Owen were delivered to a medical examiner for confirmation and to determine the cause of death.
The 14-month-old went missing in May, leading to an intense investigation.
The body of Owen’s mom, Selena Hidalgo-Calderon, was discovered in a wooded area in a farm near her home in Sodus in May. She was last seen with Owen on Joy Road a week prior.
Reyes, 25, was Hidalgo-Calderon’s live-in companion. He remains in custody in connection with her death and is facing charges of tampering with evidence.
Authorities said they have have five hours of footage of Reyes on trail cameras that place him at the scene. Reyes is being held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bail bond. The sheriff says Reyes entered the country illegally in 2016 and 2017 and is facing federal charges for illegal entry and forged documents.
The discovery of Selena Hidalgo-Calderon’s body triggered a massive search for Owen. An Amber Alert was issued for Owen two days after the discovery of his mother.
More than a thousand people scoured the Joy Road area in an attempt to track down the toddler. The search spanned some 700 acres and lasted two weeks. Authorities returned to the scene several more times over the last few months to continue to search for clues.
Sheriff Virts said despite accusations from some, his team never stopped searching for Owen.
"Every day since we received the call on May 19th, we have worked this investigation. Every single day the sheriff's office has worked this investigation.”
Owen’s grandmother, Estela Calderon, took to Facebook to respond to the news, saying in Spanish, “You were an angel of our life for us and for other certain people… I know they would be happy now that you have … that place next to your mother…(it) helps us (have) a little bit of comfort, our dear Owen…”
Sheriff Virts said his conversation with Calderon was emotional. He informed the family of the discovery this week. They’ve been in town for a celebration of Selena’s life, as Monday would have been her 19th birthday.
The remains are now being examined at the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.
No additional charges were immediately filed against Reyes, but Owen’s death is being ruled a homicide. It could take several days for a positive identification of the remains and up to three months for an exact cause of death to be determined.
Sheriff Virts also said Selena did reach out for help with the domestic violence assistance program in Wayne County. She was offered safe housing, which she accepted, but only stayed for a few days and police were never notified of trouble.
The hearing will resume at a later date.