Merced County mother and newborn son are missing


26-year-old Ana Diaz De Ceja and her son Anthony Ceja-Diaz were last seen at their Planada home Thursday morning.

Detectives are still trying to identify the body they found Thursday night. They don't know yet if it's the missing mother. So right now they're focusing on finding her and her infant son.

Family and friends of Ana Diaz De Ceja are filled with anxiety and fear about what could have happened to the 26-year-old and her baby boy. Ana's husband says he last saw her wearing a grey shirt and pink pajama pants when he left for work early Thursday morning.

Luis Ceja: "He's saying it's too hard for him. It's too much. He can't even talk because he's so worried, not knowing anything about the baby or her."

Merced County deputies took the missing person's report Thursday night; just hours after detectives were called to an almond orchard near Snelling to investigate a murder.

This exclusive video shows them processing the crime scene after farmworkers found a burning body. The workers initially thought the flames were coming from a trash fire, so by the time they contacted authorities, the body was burned beyond recognition.

"At this point we're still not 100% sure on gender, ethnicity or age for that matter," said Deputy Tom Mackenzie. "So it will still be a few more days if not a week before we make that determination."

Detectives say it is possible the victim found in the orchard is Ana Diaz De Ceja. But for now they're actively searching for both the mother of two and her infant son. The case does not meet the criteria for an amber alert since it's unclear whether the baby has been abducted. But the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is assisting. And now authorities and relatives are also asking for the public's help.

Maricela Ceja adds, "Please just to let them know that if they see something. If they know anything to call the police officers because this is really hard."

Deputies say neighbors last saw Ana and her son getting into her 2002 Blue Chevy Avalanche. The license plate number is 7J73455.

Anyone with information about the truck or the missing mother and baby is asked to call the Merced County Sheriff's office.

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