Darnell Gray: Pond drained & search expanded for boy who vanished from home; police call case ‘beyond critical’

Police have expanded their search for a 4-year-old Missouri boy who reportedly vanished from his Jefferson City home on Wednesday morning.

Jefferson City Police Lieutenant David Williams said in a press release that Darnell Gray’s disappearance is “beyond critical” given the amount of time he’s been missing. The news release also stated that they’ve increased their search radius after people close to the investigation made inconsistent statements.

“It is imperative that we find Darnell and return him to his family,” he said.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Gray was last seen at his apartment on Buena Vista Street between 11 p.m. and midnight when he went to sleep. At the time of his disappearance, Jefferson City Police Captain Deric Heislen told The Kansas City Star that it doesn’t appear they’re dealing with a parental abduction. Reports indicated that the 4-year-old’s parents were out of town when he vanished.

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On Saturday, nearly 50 volunteers combed the woods surrounding Washington Park. The same day, Williams confirmed that authorities were working to drain a nearby pond so that divers with the State Highway Patrol could continue their search for Gray.

Gray is described as being approximately 3 foot, 10 inches tall, weighing 50 pounds and missing his two front teeth. He was last seen wearing a black and white sleeper but could be wearing a black fur-lined coat, red Spider-Man velcro shoes, Mickey Mouse hat and gloves, and a Black Panther backpack.

Authorities are offering $500 for information that leads them to Gray.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding Darnell Gray’s whereabouts should call the Jefferson City Police Department at 573-634-6400, call the CrimeStoppers hotline at 659-TIPS or go to jeffcitycrimestoppers.com.

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[Featured image: Darnell Gray/KRCG, handouts]