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Law & Order

Police: Working To 'Build A Case' Against Ebron

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

As day four of the search winds down, 21-month-old Lonzie Barton is still missing.

The boy was reported abducted early Friday morning by his mother’s boyfriend, William Ruben Ebron, who is now believed to be responsible for the toddler’s disappearance.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Investigations Chief Tom Hackney says the more time that goes by, the less likely Lonzie is alive.

Hackney says even without the body, investigators are working to build the case against Ebron.

Hackney said, "This case is getting worked actively with leads to build a case.”

He said, “Our officers will protect Ruben Ebron’s constitutional rights, it’s part of what we do. We may not like what he did, or feel like he did, but we’ll work to protect them. But honestly, I’m worried more about Lonzie’s rights now and where he is. He has the right to not be left and thrown out as garbage.”

Hackney says he believes Ebron knows what happened to Lonzie, but he has chosen to remain silent.

Hackney says surveillance footage has led JSO to fill in some gaps and catch inconstancies in Ebron’s story about what happened the night of Lonzie’s disappearance.

Officers are working off more than 125 tips, and evidence has led them to search primarily in retention ponds and woods around the Southside area.

Hackney says about 200 people from nearly 20 police departments and agencies are searching for the toddler.