Authorities in Nebraska have exhausted the search of a recreational area for signs of missing 11-year-old Ryan Larsen, and are now concentrating on surveillance footage from area residences and businesses.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ryan Larsen of La Vista has been missing since May 17, when he walked out of his elementary school around noon that Monday. A teacher realized within five minutes that Larsen had gotten out during a classroom change, but by that time he was already out of sight.
La Vista Police initially indicated they believed Larsen was intentionally hiding, with one officer saying that the autistic boy was playing “the ultimate game of hide-and-seek” during a press conference last week. The boy’s family reportedly told police that he has a history of hiding and running away, and a computer search history found that Larsen had searched YouTube for the phrases “hiding from police” and “hiding underground.”
As the days passed without any sign of Larsen, the investigation took on a more serious tone, and police late last week said they had not ruled out any possibilities for the boy’s disappearance, including foul play. Investigators did a through search of the Walnut Creek Recreation Area, reportedly based on leads and the proximity of the area to Larsen’s home and school.
“Ryan was not found there despite dive teams, air support, lowering water levels, and police K9 teams,” the La Vista Police Department said on Twitter. “Investigators may still return to Walnut Creek to search if new information surfaces.”
A KMTV reports, police confirmed that Larsen was spotted on surveillance footage near his apartment complex on the afternoon of May 17, about an hour and a half after he left school. According to multiple reports, he was seen on camera taken from La Vista Keno, a business near his home, but it is unclear if there were multiple surveillance camera captures, or if he was seen near the apartment complex in footage taken from La Vista Keno.
We will likely not hear from La Vista Police today in the ongoing search for 11-year-old Ryan Larsen.
The focus is no longer at Walnut Creek after dive teams found nothing – even after partially draining the lake.
Now, police are turning to surveillance footage for any leads. pic.twitter.com/j2O7tjdECi
— Kent Luetzen (@KentLuetzen) May 26, 2021
Investigators are now seeking additional surveillance images that may have captured the little boy. According to KMTV, police are asking business owners and homeowners to review surveillance images to check for Larsen, and if they see anything, contact La Vista Police at (402) 331-1353.
Anyone who thinks they see Ryan Larsen is urged to avoid approaching or contacting him–as this could scare him-and call 911 immediately.
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