When Rohnert Park Police walked into a Sonoma County home in July, they thought they were investigating abuse allegations. They had no idea that they would learn one of the children who was supposed to be living in the home hadn’t been seen in years.
In a statement released by the police department, authorities visited the home where Kaya Centeno used to live on July 24, 2020. The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Detective Bureau initially visited the home after receiving “information from Child Protective Services regarding possible child abuse that had occurred within the city of Rohnert Park,” the statement reports.
Police Investigating Child Abuse Learn Child’s Been Missing for 10 Years
CPS explained that “they were in contact with authorities in Mexico who had two victim children, a 17-year-old female and a 15-year-old male in protective custody because of alleged child abuse by their adoptive parents Gina Centeno and Jose Centeno.” It was later revealed that the children were taken from Rohnert Park to Mexico by Gina and Jose roughly a year and a half ago to live with extended family.
According to The Press Democrat, Gina and Jose had been estranged from their adopted children ever since. In total, they had adopted five children. Their twins were still in Gina’s care when they were arrested by police.
“Rohnert Park Detectives and the FBI were able to work with the US Embassy and Child Protective Services to get the children to a safe place in Sonoma County where they could be forensically interviewed. After interviewing the children, there were allegations of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse that had occurred over an eight to ten year period of time.”
Also during that police interview, the two teenagers also talked about an older “sister” Kaya, who used to live with them in Rohnert Park. The teens went on to say that Kaya “went missing from their Rohnert Park home approximately eight to ten years ago.” They haven’t heard from Kaya since.
According to the press release, Kaya and her two siblings were adopted by Gina and Jose in 2008. It’s believed that Kaya was a student at John Reed School in Rohnert Park when she went missing but was later removed from the school as a second grader and homeschool in 2010.
At the time of her disappearance, she was known as Kaya Marie Centeno. However, police say she may also be known as Kaya Whitney Kazzee.
“Detectives were able to obtain search warrants for the Rohnert Park home where the children alleged the abuse took place.” After evidence was found, both Gina and Jose were arrested for aggravated Kidnapping in August. The couple is currently being held at the Sonoma County Jail on $18 million dollars bail.
Rohnert Park Detectives and the National Center for Missing and Exploited children were able to use a photo of Kaya and have it digitally enhanced and age-progressed to estimate what Kaya would look like today. She would have turned 18 in May.
This is what Kaya would have looked like just before she went missing at age seven. The FBI is also working with NCMEC and Rohnert Park authorities to help locate Kaya. It’s unclear what explanation Gina and Jose gave their other children as to why Kaya is no longer in their care. Rohnert Park police Sgt. Keith Astley said that information has not yet been made public.
In an interview with The Press Democrat, Astley said “We want to find Kaya. We want to hear from anybody who knows Kaya. Have they seen Kaya? When was the last time they saw Kaya? Kaya was in the household and then she was not.”
If you have seen Kaya or may have any information regarding her whereabouts, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety is asking tipsters to call 707-584-2612. Gina and Jose are expected back in court on October 5.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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