Cindy Rodriguez-Singh faces four charges in relation to her missing 6-year-old son, Noel Rodriguez-Álvarez, who is now presumed dead
About a year after Noel Rodriguez-Álvarez went missing, the 6-year-old boy’s mother, Cindy Rodriguez-Singh, has been indicted by a grand jury in Texas on capital murder and three related counts, Everman Police Chief Craig Spencer tells PEOPLE.
The mother of seven is also charged with two counts of causing injury to a child, and one count of abandoning a child without intent to return to him.
Noel has not been seen since the last week of October 2022, the police chief says.
On one occasion that month, the child was with the rest of the family when his mother gave birth to twins. The other time, he appeared “malnourished” and “unhealthy,” according to a prior law enforcement press release, previously reported by PEOPLE.
However, family members only reached out to law enforcement with concerns about the children’s safety five months later in March.
During a subsequent welfare check, Rodriguez-Singh told law enforcement that Noel was with his father in Mexico — a claim that was later disproved. (Other claims she made to those asking about the missing child included that he had been sold to a woman at a grocery store parking lot.)
Prior to his disappearance, Noel and his siblings had been placed in foster care, Spencer says, noting that Noel, who had mental and developmental disabilities, had been separated from them in another foster home better equipped for his needs. But the children were ultimately returned to their mother.
Two days after law enforcement visited inquiring about the missing child, the mother and her husband, Arshdeep Singh (who is not Noel’s father), and her six other children — then ages 5 months to 11 years old — boarded a plane to India. Noel was not on the flight, authorities previously said, also noting that at that time they were not authorized to prohibit the family from leaving the country.
Relatives considered Rodriguez-Singh to be “abusive and neglectful to Noel,” authorities previously alleged in a press release, noting that one relative later reported seeing Rodriguez-Singh smack Noel in the face with her keys because he took a sip of water. Authorities said multiple witnesses had come forward claiming that the mother “often withheld” food and water from the 6-year-old because she “did not like changing Noel's dirty diapers."
Rodriguez-Singh also never enrolled her 6-year-old in school, Spencer tells PEOPLE, noting that the child had been tested and qualified for early entry into the Everman Independent School District in their hometown.
Soon after the birth of her twins, Rodriguez-Singh called Noel “evil” and “possessed” and claimed a “demon” was inside him and that she believed he would hurt the twins, police have alleged.
Then, last November — just a month after giving birth to the twins — Rodriguez-Singh applied for passports for every child but Noel, authorities previously said.
Over the course of law enforcement’s spring investigation, Spencer tells PEOPLE that law enforcement determined that the family had demolished a shed on the property in front of the red shed where the family of nine lived and installed a concrete patio where the other shed previously existed under what he characterized as "very suspicious circumstances."
After cadaver dogs signaled to the presence of human remains on a carpet that had once been on the floor of the destroyed shed, law enforcement secured a warrant to tear up the concrete patio and, Spencer tells PEOPLE, another set of detection canines alerted that "there was at one time human remains inside the shed."
Noel’s body has still not been found, Spencer says.
At the time of Noel’s reported disappearance, authorities had issued arrest warrants for both Noel’s mother and stepfather for abandoning and endangering a child, PEOPLE previously reported.
Although only Noel’s mother has so far been indicted, police have issued a felony warrant tied to the case against Singh, the police chief tells PEOPLE.
Singh was charged with felony theft for stealing $10,000 in cash from his company’s safe, Spencer says, adding that Singh deposited $8,000 of that cash into his personal bank account ahead of the family’s escape to India.
Additional charges could still be filed against Singh. “As more information comes to light,” Spencer says of the stepfather. “If we can prove that he was involved in any way, we will absolutely pursue charges against him.”
Both Singh’s and Rodriguez-Singh’s locations are unknown to authorities, Spencer tells PEOPLE, noting that the family’s last known location was in New Delhi. The police chief says Singh has family in India, and law enforcement believes that Noel’s family is staying nearby or even with those family members.
Spencer says he hopes the new charges against the mother will help expedite the sluggish extradition process.
“Truly, I look forward to the possibility of more answers,” he tells PEOPLE. “I look forward to her being apprehended and extradited back to the United States. Not only for the purposes of seeking justice, but to hopefully also locate Noel and place him at rest. This is the closure our community truly needs.”
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