Search For Jake Wilson Continues; Family Issues Statement
Investigators are hoping new technology will help them in their week-long search to locate Jake Wilson, the missing autistic teenager from La Porte City.
Authorities said they're getting the use of a remote-operated water vehicle that's coming from Illinois and Wisconsin. La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher said the robot will allow crews to get a better look at the deepest, darkest areas of Wolf Creek.
“We'll have a lot of ability to negotiate the water and utilize a new type of sonar mechanism,” Brecher said at a late afternoon press briefing on Friday (April 13, 2018). “I'm really optimistic that that's going to shed a little more light and give us that extra thorough sweep of the water that we've been able to do on the ground.”
Weather could impact the time crews spend in the water on Saturday. Investigators were concerned about a forecast that called for the possibility of thunderstorms, which would hamper the search effort.
Brecher said dive teams made more progress than anticipated on Friday, clearing about half of the six-mile stretch of Wolf Creek between La Porte City and the Cedar River. Crews spent the sixth day of the search removing log jams from the creek and checking more of the river for any signs of Wilson.
On the investigation side, Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said his team will also be using new technology this weekend. However, he couldn't give many details about the unit that's arriving from Cedar Rapids on Saturday.
“We are reaching out and utilizing new resources and new technology that we haven't used yet,” Thompson said. “We continue to expand our exposure as well. We pride ourselves on making sure that we're leaving no stone unturned.”
Wilson's family issued a statement late Friday afternoon, calling for support from both the public and media to help keep the focus on the search for Jake.
We would like to first of all thank every volunteer and all law enforcement personnel who have spent countless hours to help find Jake and return him to our family. This is a very difficult and trying situation for his family and friends. No parent should have to feel the agony that the entire family has been experiencing. We ask that our media partners, who have been extremely supportive and helpful during this situation, help keep the narrative of this situation where it needs to be, and that is to help find Jake and bring him home to us.
We are committed to continue to work with everyone involved in this situation to help see this situation through to an end where Jake will be home with us.
We urge our media partners to continue to help us by providing coverage of this situation to have people continue to seek Jake and call us with any information that can help. We urge anyone who wants to continue to help us to use social media as a means to push information that can help support the family and friends of Jake and spread the word to help find him.
We ask that everyone please respect our family during this very difficult time. The next few days will be incredibly important for us and again thank everyone supporting these efforts to bring Jake home.
The family of Jake Wilson.