The FBI has joined the search for a missing autistic boy who has not been seen since walking out of school Monday afternoon.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 11-year-old Ryan Larsen was last seen around midday Monday at school in La Vista, Nebraska. He is believed to have slipped out during a classroom change. Larsen has not been seen or heard from since then, and investigators appear to be considering additional possibilities, after previously saying they believed Larsen was intentionally hiding.
On Tuesday, La Vista Police Capt. Jeremy Kinsey said at a news conference that Larsen is very high-functioning, and has a history of hiding and running away. He also said that Larsen’s YouTube search history included the phrases, “hiding underground” and “hiding from police.”
“He’s playing the ultimate game of hide and seek on us now and he’s winning,” Kinsey said the news conference.
In the two days since, authorities have indicated growing concern for the boy who has been missing for well over four days. As KETV reports, John Francavilla from the La Vista Police Department said Thursday morning the investigators are not ruling out various possibilities for the boy’s disappearance.
“We have to look at, ‘Is this a criminal matter? Is he playing hide-and-seek? Is this a little boy who got in trouble and unfortunately has passed due to that?’ We’re looking at all angles. Our concentration is finding Ryan and bringing him home to his family.”
“He could literally be laying down somewhere,” Francavilla continued. “With autism, from some of the stuff we’ve been getting from the experts — while the normal person, we need food, we need water, we need sleep. To him, he’s mission driven. So, He will supersede all those needs and continue on with his mission to where it would affect us, but it’s not affecting him the way it would us.”
Police and volunteer searches have continued through the week, and on Wednesday the search efforts were focused on Walnut Creek Recreation Area, based on a lead. The search did not turn up any evidence connected to Larsen’s disappearance.
Larsen’s family has not yet spoken publicly about the search for the boy.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode: