Autistic Boy, 11, Missing Five Days Playing 'Ultimate Game of Hide-And-Seek', Per CopsMay 21, 2021
Investigators said the boy researched “hiding from the police” and “how to avoid being spotted” online before he vanished.
A missing 11-year-old boy with autism in Nebraska is said to be playing “the ultimate game of hide-and-seek,” per police.
Ryan Larsen of La Vista — who vanished after walking out of La Vista West Elementary school around noon on Monday — researched “hiding from the police,” “hiding underground” and “how to avoid being spotted” online, according to KETV Omaha.
On Friday, La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten told the outlet authorities are guarding the Walnut Creek Recreation Area as it is “one of the best leads.” A release by the La Vista Police Department also read, “Autism experts have shared that children with autism gravitate toward water.”
Lausten added that investigators remain hopeful. “We know there have been cases — our FBI partners have told us — they’ve had missing kids with autism that have been out for seven days and they’ve been found alive and everything has been okay.”
However, police are worried about Ryan’s food, water and medications as the search continues.
“We have a list of what medications he’s on,” Lausten told 6NBC News. “We’ve talked to doctors about the effects of those medications, and that’s concerning, that some of the things that he needs to be on.”
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“You can still survive without those meds, but it helps you cope with the different things that are out there.”
Earlier in the week, La Vista Police Capt. Jeremy Kinsey claimed Ryan is “high functioning” and has a history of running away and hiding. Kinsey said his team does not believe Ryan was abducted.
“He likes to hide in the weirdest spots,” he explained to KETV. “He could very well be watching us right now, laughing at us. He’s playing the ultimate game of hide and seek on us now and he’s winning.”
“I promise you we’ve thought of checking trash cans and parked cars.”
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Lausten added, “There’s no playbook for an 11-year-old autistic that likes to hide and runs away.”
Ryan was transitioning from one classroom to another classroom when he vanished on Monday, according to Annette Eyman of Papillion La Vista Schools, per KETV. Within five minutes, a teacher noticed Ryan was missing. As the school has no surveillance cameras, the building was searched “immediately” and Ryan’s mother and police were notified.
“I can’t think of anything more heartbreaking as a parent or a staff member than having to look for a child,” Eyman told the outlet.
At the time of his disappearance, Ryan was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, an Old Navy shirt, and was carrying a polka-dot umbrella.
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