Vigil Held for Esparto Teen Missing for One Year

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YOLO COUNTY -- More candles lit, more signs made and more hard words said.

"When my brother passed away, he asked me to watch over him," said Steve Rios.

The "him" Rios is talking about is Enrique Rios, the nephew he hasn't been able to watch over for exactly one year because he's now been missing that long.

Enrique's mother, Lola, tried to describe the state of alarm she's been living in.

"The only way I can describe it is you go to the store with your little child, you misplace them for a second and your heart is just racing. And that's how it's been the past year, where I don't know where my baby is," she said.

Lola Rios says she told her then 16-year-old son goodnight in their Esparto home last October 16 and woke up to him gone the next day.

His friend, 17-year-old Elijah Moore, disappeared three weeks later after cashing a check in Woodland.

Originally thought to have just been runaways, investigators now believe the boys may have been taken for the same reason or by the same people.

Since the Rios family's last vigil in July, "there's been nothing, no leads, nothing at all," said Lola Rios said.

"Someone has to know where he is," she said.

Though the FBI has taken over the lead on this case from Yolo County deputies, this group brought their year anniversary vigil to the sheriff's department to make a point about where they feel answers should have flowed from first -- if the disappearances had been taken more seriously.

Enrique's family and friends won't say exactly why,  but they also believe there are people in pockets of the county holding the investigations back.

"It's obvious people know what's going on, so it's just like upsetting. Definitely Knights Landing and Esparto and stuff," said Enrique's Friend Sydney Pinkston.

So even as they release balloons in Enrique's favorite color -- in tribute to him and in hope for him -- it's impossible to release the pain of what's been endured since this time last year.

"Just crazy, just like everything, seeing that, especially since he was like someone I felt close to since I was younger -- it's heartbreaking," said Pinkston.

Those still working hard to keep the word out about Enrique have had their flyer operation curtailed.

The city of Woodland  informed Lola Rios that her family could no longer post missing flyers on trees because that kind of advertisement isn't allowed in the city.

Now they're turning to private businesses that agree to post the flyers in their windows.

Relatives of the other missing teen -- Elijah Moore -- will hold a vigil for him on November 3,  his 18th birthday.

If you have any information that could help bring these young men home, you're asked to dial 1-800-CALL-FBI.