Giovanni's mother, Daisy Colon, dropped him off in the area of Brightwood Terrace in Lynn, Massachusetts at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 15, 2008. He was carrying a Transformers backpack containing some of his clothes and toys He was supposed to have a weekend visitation with his father, Ernesto L. Gonzalez Jr.
Colon was unable to reach Ernesto or Giovanni by phone all weekend. When she came to pick Giovanni up on Sunday, no one answered the door at Ernesto's apartment. Colon called the police, who came over and got inside. Ernesto was there, but Giovanni wasn't with him. Giovanni's toys were inside the home, but not his backpack or any clothing. The child has never been heard from again.
On August 18, 2008 authorities arrested Ernesto and charged him with child endangerment in his son's disappearance. He reportedly refused to cooperate with the investigation, and he had a cut on his left finger and wouldn't say how he got it. Several days after Ernesto's arrest, police searched his apartment and seized several items, including knives, a bloodstained bottle of household cleanser and a bloodstained mop that had been cleaned with bleach. Testing later proved the blood wasn't Giovanni's. Ernesto has a history of substance abuse and violent behavior. He has been arrested three times, the last time in 2001, when he punched his girlfriend, chased her with +a knife and damaged her car. He was convicted of multiple assault charges and served three months in jail. Colon said that while Ernesto had violent outbursts and once threw a chair at her, she never saw him abuse Giovanni.
Ernesto was declared incompetent to stand trial in October 2013; he apparently suffers from mental illness, but has refused to take medication or cooperate with his doctors. He's staying in the forensic section of Bridgewater State Hospital and can't face trial for the charges against him until he is pronounced competent again.