Mother and son missing

January 7, 2009 12:49:13 PM PST
The Sampson County Sheriff's Office is searching for a mother and her 13-year-old son who disappeared mysteriously.According to Captain Eric Pope, 38-year-old Mary Esther Avellaneda and her son Jose have not been seen since Sunday. Pope said the pair left their home on Patterson Lane outside Salemburg in a vehicle with Avellaneda's estranged husband.

Family members told detectives that the husband - Jose Cruz Avellaneda - returned about 20 minutes later without the woman or their son. The sheriff's office say the husband has since left the area and refused to say where the woman and child were before he left.

Deputies say based on a history of domestic abuse by Mr. Avellaneda, they're concerned about the welfare of Mary and Jose. They're asking anyone who knows anything about the whereabouts of any of the three to call them at (910) 592-4141.

Mr. Avellaneda was last seen driving a 1995, four-door, white, Chevrolet Lumina, with North Carolina tag XZX-8054.