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Search Continues For Missing LaVista Boy

Ryan Larsen-Endangered Missing Advisory 5-18-21

LA VISTA, Neb. (WOWT) — La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten said in an update Friday afternoon that authorities are focusing their search for 11-year-old Ryan Larsen, missing since Monday, in multiple areas beyond Walnut Creek, where much police activity has been observed in recent days.

“We’re 96 hours into this, and I’m really worried,” Lausten said.

In a news conference with the Nebraska State Patrol, authorities said the Emergency Missing Advisory regarding Ryan would expire, and an NSP release was sent with that information shortly after the news conference ended. Ryan’s disappearance will now be considered a missing person case as teams continue to search for the boy.

“We know the EMA was effective,” NSP Capt. Matt Sutter said during the news conference Friday. The EMA lasts 72 hours, and that threshold happened at 11 p.m. Thursday.

Local, state, and federal agencies continue to assist with the search. Sarpy County K9 dogs are supporting LVPD officers, and Des Moines Police is heading to the area with search-and-rescue dogs. Omaha Police has provided additional support including aerial patrols, and Council Bluffs Police officers have also been helping with the search. Yutan and other agencies are sending dive teams, Lausten said.

“I’m overwhelmed by the support,” he said.

Lausten said Friday that a lead led them to continue searching the Walnut Creek area, but he would not share any details about that information. He also said that authorities had no indication Ryan had a backpack with him.

Police went through the school several times with thermal imaging equipment but found no trace of Ryan. Monday and Tuesday, LVPD police searched La Vista elementary school — even in the ductwork, Lausten said.

Several LVPD officers know Ryan personally, Lausten said, noting he had brought officers treats during the holidays.

Lausten said search teams were focused on more areas than just Walnut Creek, but he wouldn’t specify those areas. Walnut Creek has been a focus because “we know Ryan has been there before. We think a lead was developed,” he said, noting it was checked out.

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