FBI called in to help with search for missing La Vista boy

Authorities say they’re concerned Ryan Larsen, 11, possibly hasn’t had food or water for days.
WOWT 6 News Live at 10
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 11:17 AM CDT
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - La Vista Police told 6 News on Wednesday evening that they had requested federal assistance with the search for 11-year-old Ryan Larsen.

LVPD said they had requested help from the FBI as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The search for Ryan, missing since Monday afternoon, moved Wednesday to areas outside of La Vista. LVPD said they called on the FBI for help because of their resources and experience in looking for missing children.

Authorities believe the child has not had food or water since he went missing, and they are asking the public to check anywhere a child could hide as police and volunteers continued their search Wednesday.

Ryan, a sixth-grade student, was last seen Monday leaving school. He is 11 years old, white, about 5 foot 8 inches tall, and has brown hair and hazel eyes. At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, an Old Navy shirt, and was carrying a polka-dot umbrella.

If you see Ryan, authorities say not to call his name; instead, keep your distance and call 911. Anyone with information that could help La Vista Police, notify them immediately by calling 402-331-1582 or 911.

Ryan Larsen, 11, has been missing since he walked away from his school in La Vista on Monday,...
Ryan Larsen, 11, has been missing since he walked away from his school in La Vista on Monday, May 17, 2021. He was last seen wearing this exact sweatshirt, La Vista Police said.(La Vista Police Department)
Authorities and volunteers looking for missing La Vista boy Ryan Larsen were looking for him in places his family likes to go.

Local, state, and federal officials are helping with the search, focusing on dam sites, ditches, playground areas and tall grassy areas.

Volunteers on Wednesday were looking for Ryan at Walnut Creek, walking along the tall grass areas there. Officials said his family often goes there, so it’s possible he might feel safe and comfortable there.

Searchers are also looking for Ryan at Prairie Queen Lake, but authorities said they haven’t seen a reason to deploy dive teams into the waters there.

SEARCH COVERAGE: Monday May 17 | Tuesday May 18 | Wednesday May 19 | Thursday May 20 | Friday May 21

Authorities on Wednesday were looking for Ryan Larsen, 11, in recreational areas where his family has often spent time.

About 200 people in the La Vista community have been searching for Ryan. Neighbors in the area have set up tables with water, snacks, and notes in case Ryan walks by. One couple told 6 News they just want him to know that people care about him and miss him.

A sighting of the boy was reported Tuesday afternoon near the La Vista Library. The person took a picture of who they believed was the missing child and posted it to social media three hours later, prompting police to check the library immediately, but it was too late.

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