LA PORTE CITY – Authorities decided Saturday afternoon to scale back the active search for a 16 year old missing since about 9 p.m., last Satureday, April 5.
During the last seven days, thousands of people have searched Wolf Creek and the Cedar River on ground an in the water for Jake Wilson.
Now, 80 to 90 percent certainty exists that Wilson is not in the water,
Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said during a late Saturday afternoon press briefing. Thompson also said “nothing indicates any criminal activity.”
La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher, standing in front of a grid map indicating areas which had been searched, said some areas have been checked three and four times.
“We are at the point in our investigation that we have to scale back,” said Brecher.
The water – Wolf Creek and the Cedar River – has been searched as far north as Evansdale and as far south as Vinton, said Brecher.
Brecher said there will be check systems which will be monitored.
“As tips and leads are received from the public, we will be able to gather response teams to clear (search) specific areas as needed,” said Brecher.
Law enforcement officials reviewed the search status with family members prior to making the decision public.
“By no means are we done,” said Brecher. “This doesn’t stop. But, we are to the point in our search operations that we have to scale back.
“As things come in and area present themselves to use to do more searching ... we will search what needs to be searched.”
Brecher noted the largenumber of volunteers and agencies involved during the last week to find the missing boy. They have not given up.
“We will find Jake,”said Brecher. “We will bring him home. That is our job. Everybody that is here has the same mission.”
Thompson said material collected during the investigation will be moved to the sheriff’s office in Waterloo, most likely by Wednesday.
Thompson also said he has just as many resources available to him in the future as during the past week. They just will not be in La Porte City.
Earlier in the day, Thompson had appealed to the public to come forward with any information if they had seen anyone walking in the area of Commercial and Bishop streets on Saturday, April 5. That appeal caused an uptick of calls, but not enough.
Thompson said it is important said it is important that the pictures of Jake Wilson be kept in the public minds. That was a concern expressed by family members when they were consulted.