UPDATE: The Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office 911 Dispatch Center reports the search and rescue efforts for 2-year-old Deorr Kunz Jr. have been suspended for an undetermined amount of time.
No explanation has been provided as to why the search was suspended. Sheriff Lynn D. Bowerman has not responded to requests for comment.
LEADORE — Lemhi County Sheriff officials confirmed the search for 2-year-old Deorr Kunz Jr. continues Sunday evening.
Family members and officials with the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office 911 Dispatch Center said they expect the search to go on tonight.
“The sheriff told us in all his history he’s never seen anything like this,” Grandmother Trina Bates Clegg said Sunday night in a phone interview with EastIdahoNews.com. “Right now they have ruled out that he has slipped and fallen in to a creek. The creek has been cleared…and (the sheriff) is 100 percent confident that (Deorr) wasn’t in the creek.”
Clegg is among the search parties looking for Deorr. She said the sheriff’s office is considering Deorr may have been abducted but currently the case has not been declared an abduction. The dispatch center confirmed the case is still considered a search and rescue.
Sheriff Lynn D. Bowerman has not made a statement to the media thus far.
According to a Salmon Search and Rescue news release, the 911 Dispatch Center received a call from family members at 2:35 p.m. on July 10 that their 2-year-old son had gone missing from their camp. The family told authorities he had been gone for an hour.
“My dad was standing there watching him and he turned his head and then (Deorr) was gone,” Clegg said. “It appears like he just vanished.”
The child was described as having blond shaggy hair and wearing a camo jacket, wearing blue pajama style pants and cowboy boots.
Lemhi County immediately initiated a search. Responders included the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office, Salmon Police Department, Salmon Search and Rescue, and Leadore EMTs. After a comprehensive search of the immediate area surrounding the campground, other resources were dispatched including divers from the Salmon Search and Rescue and Lemhi CSO, search dogs from Search and Rescue and Salmon PD, horseback resources from the Salmon and Leadore area and others. Other resources on scene include a helicopter, searchers on horseback, ATVs and many people on foot.
At least 150 people have participated in the search.
The sheriff’s office issued a news release Sunday night, which reported “a comprehensive search of a radius of 2.5 miles from the campground has been completed by Search and Rescue staff.”
The sheriff’s department reports one huge hindrance has been folks showing up on their own and entering the search area without the incident commander’s knowledge.
“The Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office is discouraging concerned folks from entering the search area without being requested as we cannot keep track of who is in the area,” officials said in the news release. “… The reason for this is the area is very steep and mountainous, and the need to keep track of ground resources is paramount in case someone is hurt or otherwise needs assistance during the search.
Clegg said searchers are looking significantly farther than the initial 2-mile radius, but thus far the search and rescue teams have seen no trace of the missing boy.
No more information is expected to be released tonight.
“The Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office will contact the media to request any public resources for the search and will provide contact information when and if the time comes to request outside resources,” according to the news release.