Updated: 7:15 p.m., July 27
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Law enforcement agencies from Montana to Oregon are looking for information about a missing 2-year-old boy connected to the apparent murder-suicide along U.S. Highway 93 earlier this week.
On Friday night, police in Oregon announced that two Medford residents, Daniel Salcido, 21, and Hannah Janiak, 24, were found dead following a police pursuit on Highway 93 between Kalispell and Whitefish on July 24. Salcido and Janiak, along with their 2-year-old son Aiden Salcido, have been missing since June 11, according to the Medford Police Department.
Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino confirmed the couple’s identity and said an autopsy was performed on Salcido and Janiak at the Montana State Crime Lab on Friday.
Law enforcement in Montana and Oregon, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is now asking for the public’s help in finding the boy who “could be anywhere between Medford and Montana.”
On Saturday, Heino said police in Oregon and Montana had received dozens of tips in the last 12 hours and that law enforcement was chasing down every lead. The investigation has been complicated by the fact that Salcido and Janiak did not have cell phones or bankcards on them when they were found dead in their car July 24 following a brief police pursuit. Heino said it’s possible the couple was using cash, meaning it would be hard to track their activity between when they went missing in June and when they turned up again this week.
The couple’s car was full of camping gear and clothing, as well as multiple weapons. However, there was nothing in the car that suggested a child had been in there recently.
“There’s just no sign of the kid in the car,” Heino said. “It’s weird.”
Detectives found a receipt in the car from the Kalispell Walmart dated July 24 showing that Salcido and Janiak had purchased food before they were pulled over. A review of the security footage at Walmart shows Salcido and Janiak at the store. Aiden Salcido was not seen in the surveillance video.
So far law enforcement has been unable to determine why Salcido and Janiak came to Montana. Heino said as far as he can tell neither person had a connection to the Flathead Valley.
Sgt. Steve Furst with the Medford Police Department said law enforcement believes Salcido and Janiak most likely traveled north through Washington and Idaho to Montana, possibly camping out of their car in remote areas.
On Saturday, law enforcement received a tip that Salcido and Janiak had been in Lincoln County in the days prior to being pulled over in Kalispell on July 24.
According to Medford Police, Salcido and Janiak were homeless and would often live out of their car. Although family members went to police in June with concerns about the whereabouts of the three people, Furst said it was not uncommon for them to move around. Medford Police had dealt with Salcido and Janiak off and on over the years, and the couple would frequently camp in a local recreational area. Janiak was known to have mental health issues.
“Right now we’re trying to figure out the last time someone saw Salcido and Janiak together with Aiden,” Furst said.
According to law enforcement, Salcido and Janiak were convicted of multiple felonies following a 2018 burglary. The Oregonian reports that the couple stole weapons and $10,000 worth of precious metals and coins.
The couple, along with the 2-year-old boy, was reported missing after Janiak failed to appear at her sentencing in Jackson County, Oregon on June 11. Detectives reviewed Janiak’s financial records and found that she last used her bankcard at a department store in Medford. Surveillance footage from the store shows all three people purchasing camping equipment together.
Where Salcido and Janiak and their 2-year-old son went for the next six weeks is unknown.
On July 24, at approximately 9:45 p.m., a Kalispell police officer pulled over a green GMC Jimmy SUV for a broken headlight near the intersection of Highway 93 and West Reserve Drive. Salcido and Janiak were the only two people in the car.
Salcido and Janiak gave the officer false information about their identities. Soon after, they fled the scene and a chase ensued.
Flathead County Sheriff’s Office deputies deployed a spike strip near Happy Valley that deflated the fleeing vehicle’s tires. The vehicle then went into the ditch. After several attempts to get the occupants to surrender, officers approached the vehicle where they found both people dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
According to evidence in the vehicle, Salcido shot Janiak in the head before turning the gun on himself.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Aiden Salcido is encouraged to call the Medford Police Department at (541) 744-2258 or the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 758-5585.
This story will be updated when additional information becomes available.