New Mexico teen’s school absence unnoticed before his death

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A New Mexico boy who authorities say endured years of abuse and was found buried along the side of a rural highway had not attended school for several months.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported earlier this week Jeremiah Valencia’s mother, Tracy Pena (PEN-ya) pulled him out of a Las Vegas, New Mexico, middle school in February 2017 and told school officials she would enroll him in a Santa Fe school, but she never did and the school and state did not notice.

Police say Valencia had been out of school for at least seven months before he died.

Officials say they did not discover the 13-year-old’s body until two month after his estimated death in November because no one reported Valencia as missing.

Pena’s boyfriend, Thomas Ferguson, is accused of beating Valencia to death.

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

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