Investigators are expanding efforts to identify a young boy found dead on a Galveston beach last month, officials said Monday.
The FBI also is offering a $10,000 reward for information about the death of “Little Jacob,” the name investigators have given the child who a passer-by found Oct. 20 on a seawall beach near Eighth Street on the island’s East End.
Police had received “hundreds and hundreds of leads” over the past two weeks, but none had been fruitful, Galveston Police spokesman Capt. Joshua Schirard said.
A news conference held Monday was meant to generate even more leads, he said.
“My hope is that is that we don’t have to call him ‘Little Jacob’ for long,” Schirard said.
“Someone out there knows this child’s family and someone out there can help us identify this family and identify Little Jacob.”
Officials released few new material details during the morning news conference.
The boy’s death is still being treated as a homicide, and police suspect there are adults somewhere that know more details about how he ended up dead on the beach.
“It’s heartbreaking that no one has come forward to help us identify clues as to who this person was,” FBI Special Agent Ed Michel said.
The FBI has created a “seeking information” poster, which it has made available on social media and its website.
In coming days, the FBI posters will be published on roadside billboards across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, Michel said.
The FBI is working with Clear Channel Outdoor, a media company, to place the billboards.
Little Jacob was 3 feet tall and weighed about 30 pounds, police said. He was estimated to have been between 3 and 5 years old. He had dark hair and brown eyes and was possibly Hispanic. He was not wearing any clothes when he was found.
Police are using all avenues to investigate the case, Schirard said.
Some normal avenues to identify a found body, such as DNA and dental records, are not as useful in the case of a young child, because there are generally fewer records available to investigators, he said.
Police have not yet received a toxicology or full autopsy report from the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office, Schirard said.
Other details about the boy’s death are being withheld to preserve the integrity of the investigation, Schirard said.
“At some point, we will be releasing that information,” Schirard said.
Police urged people to consider circumstances they know about that might be connected to Little Jacob.
A neighbor or relative might have made up an excuse about a missing child; might have commented on a child’s health or behavioral issues; and might have started missing work or other routine activities.
Police gave a name to the boy to help simplify communication between the various agencies now involved in the investigation, including the FBI and the U.S. Customs Service and Border Patrol, Schirard said.