Ad still shows Harlingen boy missing two years after he was found
Sat, 05 Jun 2010 03:10:09 GMT —
Visit a H-E-B supermarket in Harlingen and you may get a receipt with a picture of Ernesto Villarreal on the back.
The ad ont the back of the receipt lists him as 5-year-old and missing since 2003.
Nearly seven years later, though, Ernie is safe and sound.
Action 4 News first broke the story when he was found two years ago in Matamoros.
Ernie is now 13-years-old and living with his grandmother in Harlingen.
"I don't know why they have it there, said Ernesto with a laugh.
Ernesto thinks it's kind of funny his picture is still on the receipts but figures another missing child should be on it.
"Yeah, with someone else who needs it, the now-13-year-old boy said.
According to Missing Persons Clearinghouse, an average of 60,000 children are missing in Texas every year.
With that in mind, Action 4 News asked H-E-B why they haven't replaced Ernie's picture with a different missing child as part of their community service.
Virginia Perez with H-E-B said the company was never notified Ernesto was found.
"At this point it looks like it was a lack of update, said Perez.
Perez said H-E-B will now fix the receipt.
That's good news for Ernesto and his grandma Esther.
"Sometimes I look at the picture and it brings back sad memories," she said.
Both Esther and Ernie said they're thankful for H-E-B TMs help but hope another child can take Ernie's place on the receipt.
"It shouldn't be there anymore, because they were looking for me, and they already found me, Ernie said.
Ernie was living with his grandparents until July 2003 when his mother, who did not have custody, took him to Mexico.
He spent several years living with her south of the border.
Action 4 News first broke the story when Ernesto was returned to his father and his family back in April 2008.
Ernesto has lived with his grandmother ever since.