Seven-year-old Jose was born in El Salvador and his mother moved to the United States in the 1980s, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents. Jose lived in a remote village and never went to school.
On December 7, 1993, Jose, his sister, his two teenage brothers and his aunt were attempting to illegally enter the United States to join Jose's mother.
As a part of a large group, they traveled 2,000 miles North to Northern Mexico and crossed over to a remote desert area in San Ysidro, California. After everyone had slipped under the border fence, somebody yelled "policia!" and the group scattered, causing Jose to be separated from his family. After everybody got back together, Jose was missing.
The people who smuggled Jose's family over the border took them to a safe house and then went back to search for Jose, but he has never been found.
According to his relatives, Jose doesn't know his birthdate or last name & might not know his real first name because everyone that Jose knew called him by his nickname "Paquito." It's unclear exactly where Jose had vanished to.
Many people try to cross the border from Mexico to the United States in remote desert areas to avoid detection, but the conditions are treacherous and migrants die of exposure every year, but it's unknown if that had happened to Jose.
Some agencies have classified Jose as a runaway and state that he may be in New York.
Jose's case remains unsolved and the American authorities are still investigating. He has multiple long scars on his forehead.