During the 1990s, a small willow tree was planted in honor of a 9-year-old girl who previously attended the current school of missing Kansas boy Lucas Hernandez. The missing boy’s photo, shared numerous times online, shows him standing directly in front of the memorial tree in full bloom.
KAKE reports that Nancy Shoemaker, who attended Beech Elementary School in Wichita, disappeared on July 30, 1990, while walking to the Phillips 66 gas station, near Pawnee at Seneca, to get her little brother a soda. Her brother, an infant at the time, had an upset stomach and his big sister was in en route to pick him a 7-Up.
Seven months later her little body was found, brutally raped and murdered, near Belle Plaine.
Doil Lane and Donald Wacker were driving in the area when they spotted Nancy walking alone. Lane was later arrested and convicted of murder and rape. His accomplice, Wacker, was convicted of helping Lane abduct the young girl.
According to KWCH, the school allowed a small willow tree to be planted in the young girl’s memory. The tree, still standing strong today, stood in the background of a photo of 5-year-old Lucas, who posed in front of the school with a backpack on, ready for class.
“To them, it’s another tree and that’s fine. But you know for some of the older people, they know the story behind it,” Nancy’s father, Bo Shoemaker, told KWCH. “And I’m sure those parents and family still have hope of Lucas returning home safely. And there’s a chance for that.”
As of Thursday morning, Lucas still remains missing. Anyone with any information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the Wichita police tip line at tip line at 316-383-4641.
Timeline of Lucas Hernandez Disappearance
Kansas police are searching for a 5-year-old boy last seen in his Wichita home on Saturday afternoon, and are asking the public for any known information about his whereabouts.
The Wichita Eagle reports that Lucas Hernandez was last seen on Saturday at around 3 p.m. at his home off of the 600 block of south Edgemoor, near Lincoln. According the the Missing Pieces Network, a non-profit organization that assists in finding missing persons, the father’s girlfriend was taking care of Lucas and his infant sister when he vanished. She apparently took a nap at around 3 p.m., when Lucas was napping, but when she woke up, he was missing and the back door of the home was open.
Lucas’ father, who drove home after learning the boy was missing, said that all of his son’s belongings, including his shoes and jacket, were still in the home. The child’s biological mother was reportedly in the another state when he disappeared.
Lucas is described 4 feet tall and weighs around 60 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing white socks, black pants, and a grey shirt with a teddy bear on the front. He also has a cleft palate and a speech impediment. His family reported that it’s not typical for the boy to wander off.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact 911 immediately.
As Kansas authorities enter their third day of searching for a little boy who disappeared on Saturday from his Wichita home, family members are speaking out over past concerns regarding the child’s welfare.
The Wichita Eagle reports that 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez was reported missing on Saturday evening at around 6:15 p.m. The child’s stepmother, 26, told authorities she last saw the boy at 3 p.m., when she put him down for a nap, then took a nap herself with her infant daughter. The boy’s father was at work when the incident occurred, while his biological mother was in another state.
Sally Rasmussen, Lucas’ great aunt, told the outlet that she got in touch with the the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) last year after over concerns regarding the little boy’s care. Lucas’ great grandmother, Jeannie Houchin, said that DCF was investigating the incident, although the exact details of what prompted the call to social services in the first place remains unclear.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lucas disappeared from his family home off of the 600 block of south Edgemoor, near Lincoln. He’s described 4 feet tall and weighs around 60 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing white socks, black pants, and a grey shirt with a teddy bear on the front. He also has a cleft palate and a speech impediment. His family reported that it’s not typical for the boy to wander off.Officer Charley Davidson stated on Sunday that authorities searched the home and surrounding areas, but so far, haven’t had luck locating Lucas. There were no signs of a home break-in and nothing inside the residence was out of place.
Authorities also concentrated on the area around Chisholm Creek Park near 29th and Oliver, but haven’t made any announcements since then. As of Monday morning, Lucas still remains missing. Police announced the FBI is assisting in the search for Lucas, and they are not asking for the public’s help in search efforts. Instead, they encourage the public to share the boy’s flyer.
As the search for 5-year-old Kansas boy Lucas Hernandez reaches its fourth day, his father is speaking out, hoping to have his son home safe as soon as possible.
“We miss and love him with all our hearts. We just want our baby boy home with us again safe,” Lucas’ dad told CrimeOnline.
Lucas was last seen on Saturday at around 3 p.m. at his home off of the 600 block of south Edgemoor, near Lincoln in Wichita. The father’s girlfriend was taking care of Lucas and his younger sister when he vanished. She apparently took a shower and then nap at around 3 p.m., while Lucas also napped, but when she woke up, the back door of the home was open and the little boy was nowhere in sight.
The boy’s dad said Lucas was shy and soft-spoken and generally would not approach strangers. He also told CrimeOnline that Lucas has a speech impediment and although it may be difficult for people who don’t know him to understand his speech, the boy is capable of communicating and calling out for help.
“His speech is different than a normal 5-year-old, because he does have a cleft palate. He speaks well but hard to understand him if you aren’t used to his speech. Anyone should be able to understand him if they listen closely to what he’s saying. He can call for help, yell, scream etc. Everything with his voice is just fine.”
Lucas’ father, who drove home from an out-of-town work site after learning the boy was missing, said that all of his son’s belongings, including his shoes and jacket, were still in the home. The child’s biological mother was reportedly in another state when he disappeared. Lucas lives in Wichita full-time with his dad, his dad’s girlfriend, and a younger toddler sister.
The stepmother of missing 5-year-old Kansas boy, Lucas Hernandez, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon on child endangerment charges.
According to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Emily Glass is charged with two counts of child endangerment. So far, little details are available surrounding details of the arrest, but local station KAKE reported that the child’s grandmother gave the station photos of Lucas with bruises on his back and arms.
The grandmother stated that family members contacted social services and reported abuse in the past in another state, but nothing had yet been done about it to her knowledge.
On Monday, Glass was formally charged with one felony count of child endangerment, in connection with her 1-year-old daughter. The incident reportedly occurred prior to Lucas’ disappearance and authorities have reason to believe drugs were involved.
🚨Locate The Missing Emergency! #WhereIsLucasHernandez!?! The stepmother of Lucas Hernandez, Emily Glass, was arrested…
Kansas authorities returned to Chisholm Creek Park in Wichita on Friday, after receiving a new tip regarding missing 5-year-old, Lucas Hernandez, who disappeared six days ago.
“Information we have received during the investigation has led us to Chisholm Creek Park area,” Officer Charley Davidson with the Wichita PD said, according to The Wichita Eagle. “And we will be searching that area.”
Both entrances to the park have been blocked off while numerous officers were spotted conducting what was likely a detailed grid search of the area. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, along with the FBI, are currently assisting with the search.
Since the day Lucas Hernandez disappeared on February 17, his stepmother, Emily Glass, has been in the hot seat, given that she was the last person to see the boy. While sitting in jail on a child endangerment charge, she opened to a local Wichita reporter about Lucas’ disappearance, publicly for the first time.
FactFinder12 Investigator Devon Fasbinder spoke with Glass, 26, on Wednesday afternoon, in hopes of getting information that would help find the boy, whose been since missing for 11 days. Glass previously told police she took a shower and then a nap at around 3 p.m. on the day in question. She said when she woke up, the back door of the family home in Wichita was open and Lucas was nowhere in sight. He’s still missing.
When Fasbinder asked Glass if she hurt Lucas in any way, she denied it and said she would never harm him and has no idea where he is.
“I did not. I would never hurt my son…..He’s like a son, you know? I may not have given birth to him, but he’s my baby boy. I take care of him every day, you know?”
Shortly after Lucas’ disappearance, the boy’s great aunt, Sherry Rasmussen, handed over photos of him to KAKE News, which showed numerous bruises on various parts of his body. Rasmussen said the bruises were likely from physical abuse, and that she reported it to the Department of Children’s Services, yet nothing was ever done to protect Lucas.
Glass said that the bruises were not from abuse, but instead, the results of Lucas playing too roughly and being a little boy.
“There’s been times he’s being a boy and playing with older brothers and his cousins. He gets bruises. He has had some falls,” Glass explained.
“A majority of the time when he had gotten hurt and ended up with bruises, he wasn’t under my care,” she continued. “Because I would send him off with my cousins and there’s older boys there and he’s a very little, small boy and he could get hurt easily and when he’s playing with older boys who are like 10 years old, even though we’d say hey Lucas be careful. We had to tell him all the time you know, be careful.”
Glass also said she isn’t concerned with the people who think she hurt Lucas. She claimed it was “on them” and the only thing she is concerned about is finding the child. She also explained that two strangers stood outside her home a few days before Lucas disappeared, which she “kept thinking about” after Lucas disappeared.
She said she didn’t know the people and when she offered them assistance, they acted offended. In turn, she reportedly took a photo of the pair send sent it to Johnathan Hernandez, Lucas’ father.
“I keep thinking and I keep thinking what could have happened, you know. And I keep thinking back to these two people that were outside of my house a few days prior. A black man and white woman….I went out there to be like hey is everything okay? Do you need to come inside? Are you stranded? They were just like, no and just like looked at me like I offended them or something.”
Authorities couldn’t verify any details involving the photo since the investigation is still ongoing.
The founder of Texas EquiSearch, a search team who assisted in the mission to locate missing Kansas boy, Lucas Hernandez, said that the search for Lucas is eerily similar to the search his team carried out in 2008 while searching for Caylee Anthony.
“This feels way too familiar and unfortunately I think there’s one person who knows, and they just aren’t saying anything. So everyone is working as hard as they can,” Texas EquuSearch founder, Tim Miller, told KWCH12. “After we went to Caylee’s funeral I said I never want to do one of these cases again, and right now it appears as though we are here.”
Miller and his team went to Wichita to help search for 5-year-old Lucas last week. They haven’t uncovered anything yet, but the search team recently paused their search efforts for Lucas in order to concentrate on another missing persons case. They noted on their Facebook page that they will likely resume the search for Lucas at a later time.
Caylee Anthony, 3, disappeared in 2008 after her mother, Casey Anthony led police on by saying that she left her little girl with what turned out to be a fictional nanny, among other various explanations. Caylee’s disappearance spurred a large-scale search effort, withTexas EquuSearch assisting authorities and numerous other volunteers. Miller became so involved in the search that he attended Caylee’s funeral after her remains were found near her grandparent’s home in Orlando.
In the meantime, Miller couldn’t disclose the locations where his team searched for Lucas due to the ongoing investigation. The little boy remains missing as authorities enter day 19 of their investigation into his disappearance. Miller indicated that the likely outcome of finding Lucas will be the same as it was for Caylee.
“We don’t sugarcoat anything, if Lucas is found he certainly is not going to be found the way we want him to be found, and I think the most we can hope for right now is to one day very soon go to a funeral.”
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Nancy Shoemaker and Lucas Hernandez/Handout]