Wichita police searched a nature park Sunday evening for a 5-year-old boy who was reported missing.
The Wichita Police Department also have set up a tip hotline and sought the public’s help to find the child.
Police said they received a call at about 6:15 p.m. Saturday to report Lucas Hernandez was lost in the 600 block of south Edgemoor in southeast Wichita. When officers arrived, Lucas’ 26-year-old step mom said he was last seen at about 3 p.m. Saturday in his bedroom prior to her showering and falling asleep.
Meanwhile, two relatives of the boy told The Eagle on Sunday that they had concerns about his welfare in the past. Sally Rasmussen, a great aunt of Lucas, said she contacted the Kansas Department for Children and Families last spring. The other relative, Jeannie Houchin, a great grandmother of the boy, said the Kansas child protection agency confirmed it was investigating. A Department for Children and Families spokeswoman couldn’t be reached Sunday.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
Sunday evening police with canine units began searching Chisholm Creek Park, a 216 acre nature park near 29th and Oliver about 6:30 p.m. About a dozen police cars and a Red Cross van were in a parking lot near Oliver. By 8 p.m. some of the police cars began leaving.
Police said they would have no updates on the search until Monday morning.
During a news conference Sunday afternoon, Officer Charley Davidson said officers and canine units had searched both his home and neighborhood with no luck.
On Sunday afternoon, more than a dozen Wichita Police cars lined the streets surrounding the 600 block of S. Edgemoor. Officers were seen going door to door questioning area residents in the case.
Davidson said police have found no evidence that points toward an abduction, which is why an Amber Alert has not been activated.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team is assisting the Wichita Police Department with the investigation. The Emergency Action Command Center has also been activated.
Lucas was born Dec. 12, 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.
A teacher with Beech Elementary School in Wichita posted on Facebook that Lucas is one of her students, and school district spokeswoman Susan Arensman confirmed that the boy is enrolled at the school.
“Please pray for the safe return of the 5 year old that went missing (Saturday),” she wrote. “He is one of my students and a very sweet little boy. Please Please pray for him and his family. My heart is so heavy right now.”
If you have any information on Lucas or his whereabouts, the department asks that you call 316-383-4661. Davidson said many have reached out willing to help search, but he said the best way to help right now is to share Lucas’ missing child poster.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Lucas and Lucas’ family,” Davidson said.