Crews working in the Papillion closed recreation area


BUTTERFLY, Neb. (WOWT) — For a third day, 11-year-old Ryan Larsen’s search efforts appeared centered around the Walnut Creek Recreation Area.

La Vista police told 6 News on Saturday that the recreation area will remain closed for another day as teams continue to search for Ryan, who has been missing for nearly a week, believed to be without food or essential medication to treat his autism. .

In an update posted just before 5 p.m., LVPD again spoke about the scent picked up by a K9 unit, noting that it could be “animal, human or otherwise.”

Tweeting their update, LVPD said they have no plans to have another press conference this weekend unless Ryan is found. They also shared ryan poster now posted on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website.

Also on Saturday, authorities warned the public not to spread false information and rumours, as such information hinders efforts to find Ryan.

As authorities continue their efforts to locate missing 11-year-old Ryan Larsen, police are warning the public against spreading false information.

On Saturday afternoon, 6 News observed crews from Benington, Waterloo and Yutan arriving along Turkey Road to help with the search.

Among several agencies assisting in the search, the Nebraska State Patrol provided air support as well as personnel.

Authorities blocked access to the Walnut Creek area Thursday night to discourage people from entering and possibly scare Ryan if he was hiding there, according to LVPD.

On Saturday morning, LVPD tweeted that there were still “no new updates on ongoing research.”

Police tweeted Friday evening that dive teams would continue to search Walnut Creek.

LVPD said the search dogs picked up some sort of scent, but there was no way to give details of what they were detecting.

The news came hours after an update from LVPD Chief Bob Lausten, who said authorities were focusing their search for Ryan in several areas beyond the Walnut Creek Recreation Area, where a lot of police activity have been observed in recent days.

RESEARCH COVERAGE: Monday May 17 | tuesday may 18 | Wednesday May 19 | Thursday May 20 | Friday May 21

Also on Friday, the Nebraska State Patrol noted that the emergency missing person notice for the boy had expired and that Ryan’s disappearance would now be considered a missing person case.

“We know EMA has been effective,” NSP captain Matt Sutter said at the press conference on Friday. The EMA lasts 72 hours, and this threshold occurred at 11 p.m. Thursday.

The LVPD called for volunteers Friday as multiple law enforcement agencies continued their search for Ryan.

In a tweet on Friday morning, LVPD suggested that those who want to help should instead offer their support in the form of donations to The Salvation Army or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The volunteers had been helping look for Ryan from he disappeared monday noon.

Local, state and federal agencies continue to assist in the search. Sarpy County K9s are supporting LVPD officers, and search and rescue dogs from Des Moines were also heading to the area. Omaha Police provided additional support, including aerial patrols, and officers from Council Bluffs also assisted in the search. Yutan and other agencies are sending dive teams, Lausten said.

Earlier in the week, police checked the school’s ducts and even walked by several times with thermal imaging equipment, but found no trace of Ryan.

Research this week also focused on areas near Ryan’s home, with K9 officers checking in many directions and officers going door to door.

Search teams were also deployed to waterways in the recreation area and near La Vista Central Park on Thursday, LVPD said.

“Autism experts have shared that children with autism gravitate to water,” the LVPD statement states.

LVPD asked for help Wednesday from the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

What to do if you see Ryan

Ryan, a sixth-grader, was last seen leaving school on Monday. He is described as white, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes. At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, an Old Navy shirt and carrying a polka dot umbrella.

If you see Ryan, authorities say don’t call his name; instead, keep your distance and call 911. Anyone with information about his location should call Sarpy County Crime Stoppers at 402-592-STOP (7867); or dial 911.

Ryan Larsen, 11, has been missing since walking away from his school in La Vista on Monday, May 17, 2021. He was last seen wearing this exact sweatshirt, La Vista police said .(La Vista Police Department)

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