Mom Seeks to Have Autistic Son Declared Dead as She Sues School District for His Unsolved 2021 Disappearance

Earlier this month, the mother of an 11-year-old Nebraska boy who vanished in 2021 filed a petition to have him presumed dead.

According to WOWT, Ryan Larsen’s mother asked a Sarpy County court to declare her missing son deceased due to the care he required for his autism. In May 2021, the boy reportedly vanished after he left La Vista West Elementary School.

Though the petition was formally filed on January 10, Tammi Larsen had an affidavit notarized in December 2022 — a month after La Vista Police Detective Greg Carrico reportedly told her that her son’s missing persons case is inactive and Omaha police’s cold case unit is now handling recovery efforts.

“No evidence was found that indicated the whereabouts of Ryan Larsen. Despite numerous searches and attempts to locate Ryan Larsen, his body has not been found. Since that time, Ryan Larsen has been without a suitable caretaker necessary to sustain his life,” the affidavit stated, per WOWT.

According to KETV, Tammi Larson said she needs a death certificate for her son as she intends to file a claim against Papillion-La Vista Community Schools. Her claim accused the school district of causing Larsen’s wrongful or negligent death.

KETV reported that cadaver dogs had detected human decay at Walnut Creek recreation area but a body was never found.

In a statement issued to the news outlet, La Vista police said they are still investigating Larsen’s case. They also said they were unaware of Tammi Larsen’s filing to have him declared dead.

A hearing regarding the death petition is scheduled for February.

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[Featured image: Ryan Larsen/La Vista Police Department]