URGENT: Help needed as police continue search for missing autistic teen boy

The search for an Iowa teen has entered its third day and authorities are hoping that volunteers can assist in helping them locate the boy.

The Courier reports that although La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher feels that 16-year-old Jake Wilson will ultimately be found alive, authorities continue to search for the teen, who vanished on Saturday night after asking his parents if he could go to a nearby creek.

“We are optimistic, but it’s getting to the point where now we just keep expanding where we’ve been and just keep praying,” Brecher told The Courier.

Authorities are looking for additional volunteers, especially those with all-terrain vehicles who can help do a “sweep” search throughout the city. Those without all-terrain vehicles can also help. Brecher said even printing out flyers and keeping an eye out for Jake would be beneficial.

“Anything that you have to offer to help us out — and if you don’t, we just ask that you print off his picture and keep it with you … No matter where you’re at, just keep on the lookout,” he said. “At this point, anything is a possibility.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jake went to Tootsie’s ice cream shop in La Porte City on Saturday evening. He returned homed and asked if he could go to the nearby Wolf Creek. He told his family he would return shortly but after failing to come home, his family became worried and contacted the police.

Firefighters, police, and numerous volunteers have also searched the creek and its surrounding areas but so far haven’t found Jake. Neiswonger said her son is autistic and has a mild intellectual disability.

Jake stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds. He wears glasses and has hazel eyes and dirty blonde hair. He was last seen wearing cowboy boots, dark sweatpants, and a dark grey zip-up sweater.

Sheriff Tony Thompson indicated that the boy’s disappearance is not being as a criminal case. Yet, he also indicated that at this point, authorities are not ruling anything out and are treating the “process” as they would a crime scene.

“While it’s not criminal in nature, we are still going to process everything as though it’s a crime scene. We are going to process every piece of information, we are going to process every found glove or boot or whatever, simply because it allows for a very regimented way of documenting everything that we come across.”

Anyone with any information on Jake Wilson’s whereabouts is urged ton contact the Black Hawk County Dispatch at 319-291-2515.

[Feature Photo: Jake Wilson/Police Handout]