Wichita police have closed the tip line for a boy who has been missing for 23 days due to a drop-off in tips.
Police continue to ask for tips from the public in the case of missing 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez, Officer Charley Davidson said. Fewer tips are coming in, he said, so police closed the emergency operations center tip line and are asking tipsters to call detectives or Crime Stoppers.
"Get that information to us so we can use that information as we continue to investigate in hopes of finding Lucas," Davidson said. He did not say how many tips are still coming in.
Police are also working with Texas EquuSearch, a mounted search and rescue team for missing persons, Davidson said.
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Lucas was reported missing by his stepmother at her house in the 600 block of South Edgemoor on Feb. 17. Police searched the neighborhood that night and at least five parks over the next two weeks, including Chisholm Creek, Dr. Glen Day, Harrison, Cottonwood and Chapin parks.
Over 100 law enforcement officers used horses, dogs and drones to look for Lucas. Police conducted organized grid searches, and divers searched bodies of water in a second search of Chisholm Creek Park.
After active police park searches were suspended, EquuSearch and several volunteers formed their own search parties for Lucas. But nothing found was associated with the case, Davidson has said. In once case, someone found a pile of rocks, prompting a park search by police.
Missing Pieces Network, which works to locate missing people, called for Wichita-area landowners to search their properties in a Saturday Facebook post.
"Since nobody has come forward to provide information on his whereabouts, he needs our help!" the post said.
Police classify Lucas' disappearance as a criminal case and have asked people to call if they find anything that might be evidence and said to not disturb it.
An Amber Alert was never issued because there was no evidence that Lucas had been abducted, police have said. A Wichita police captain has said, “I believe Lucas just didn’t walk out of the house.”
Lucas was born Dec. 3, 2012, has brown hair and brown eyes, is about 4 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds. He was last seen wearing black sweats, white socks and a gray shirt with a bear on it. He attends Beech Elementary School.