Wisconsin man pleads not guilty to neglect in disappearance of boy

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) — A man who was caring for a 3-year-old Wisconsin boy when he vanished in late Februar y pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a charge of chronic child neglect.

Jesse Vang, 39, entered the plea during his arraignment in a Manitowoc County court. A judge on April 4 ordered Vang to stand trial on the neglect charge in the disappearance of Elijah Vue.

Vang is being held on a $20,000 cash bond.

He is the boyfriend of Elijah’s mother, Katrina Baur of Wisconsin Dells, who was charged in February with one felony count of party-to-a-crime child neglect and two misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing an officer. She has pled not guilty and is being held on a $15,000 cash bond.

Elijah was last seen at Vang's home in Two Rivers, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Green Bay. Baur had left her son to stay with Vang because she wanted him to teach the youngster “to be a man,” according to a criminal complaint.

Vang called police on Feb. 20 and reported the boy missing. He told officers he had taken a nap and brought the 3-year-old in the bedroom with him, but when he awoke three hours later the boy was gone. Regular searches for the child have been conducted and are ongoing.