Dan Stamm

Mother, 3-Month-Old Daughter Go Missing as Abandoned SUV Turns Up in South Jersey

UPDATE: Police announced the arrest of Ricardo Santiago of Millville on homicide charges Wednesday morning as they worked to recover the bodies of Neidy Ramirez and 3-month-old Genesis.

Police have questioned a person of interest in the disappearance of a South Jersey mother and her baby daughter, according to the woman's sister.

Diana Soto told NBC10 investigators spoke with the person of interest Tuesday, but didn't say who that person was. Police also have not confirmed Soto's claim.

Police began searching for Soto's sister, 34-year-old Neidy Ramirez, after she and her 3-month-old daughter, Genesis Ramirez, went missing.

Ramirez's family last saw her and her daughter on Black Friday in Vineland, police said. A day later, New Jersey State Police found Ramirez’s 2005 Chevy Trailblazer along Route 55 after a family friend spotted it near milepost 45.3, according to investigators.

Ramirez, who has brown hair and brown eyes, stands 5-foot-7 and weighs around 140 pounds, was last seen wearing a brown sweater, brown-striped pants and black shoes. She had a black cross necklace on at the time, investigators said.

Genesis’ outfit at the time of her disappearance wasn’t clear. The baby has brown hair and eyes.

Investigators said Ramirez has no history of medical disorders and was only reported missing after she failed to show up for work at Conte's Pasta Monday. Investigators also say there hasn't been any activity on her cellphone or transactions on her credit card since Friday.

Soto told NBC10 the family didn't notice anything strange when they spent time with Ramirez on Thanksgiving.

"(It was a) normal, fun day," Soto said. "(She was) joking. Everyone was eating, enjoying themselves. We were with the kids playing, having a good time."

Loved ones say Ramirez was supposed to attend a church retreat over the weekend.

"She's a very religious person," Soto said. "On weekends she's (at) church. She doesn't drink. Her kids are her life. Just confusion, a lot of worry. Just a lot of questions."

Ramirez's co-workers and friends gathered outside the Vineland Police Department Tuesday and prayed for her safe return.

"We're all trying to cry in between, talk to each other and comfort each other," said Maria Nieves. "And pray that she's OK."

Police questioned Genesis' father as well as the father of Ramirez's two other children, but haven't come up with substantial information.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Genesis and/or her mother should contact police at 856-691-4111 x4180 or the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Officer at 856-453-0486.

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