The search for Noah Chamberlin entered its third day on Sunday, but police in Tennessee remained confident that they could find the 2-year-old boy alive.
Chamberlin has been missing since Thursday afternoon, when he disappeared while on a walk with his grandmother and older sister in the woods near his family’s home in Pinson, Tennessee. His grandmother said that she was focused on Noah’s sister for a minute, and when she looked back for Noah, the boy was gone, WCM Action News 5 reported.
ENDANGERED CHILD ALERT: Noah Chamberlin, missing from Chester County. Asking for the public’s help today. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/hKhdJFMeqV
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) January 15, 2016
After two days where hundreds of volunteers combed the woods, police on Sunday asked that volunteers remain at home so that law enforcement experts could take over. The Chester County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement.
“Today starting at 7 am ONLY CERTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE BEING ALLOWED TO SEARCH! The need may arise later for civilian volunteers, please stay tuned for updates. We would like to thank everyone that has volunteered. Our main goal is to bring Noah home!”
Police remained confident they could still find the boy unharmed.
“It is a search and rescue mission,” said Chester County Sheriff Blair Weaver “We have total faith that we’re going to find Noah and we’re going to bring him home safe.”
For the first two days, volunteers came to the area by buses, working around the clock to check the area. Authorities warned them to prepare for cold, wet conditions in the search.
“Wear warm, comfortable clothing and shoes,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a Facebook message. “It is rugged, muddy terrain. Bring flashlights, tobaggan, gloves, etc. It is essential that you go to the school FIRST to be accounted for.”
— The Tennessean (@Tennessean) January 16, 2016
“Since Thursday and I think, (I’ve) maybe had less than an hour of sleep,” volunteer Ricky Alexander told WCM Action News 5.
“You can’t give up on… there’s a 2-year-old out there and it’s cold. We’ve got to get this baby home,” he added.
Some volunteers noted the difficulty of the terrain where the boy disappeared.
“Been cold, wet, muddy, lots of hills, lot of hard terrain, lot of swamps, lot of bottoms. I just pray that the boy is good,” volunteer David Terry said.
Weaver had planned to suspend the search by 7 a.m. on Sunday if Noah Chamberlin had not been found, instead calling in law enforcement from across the state to take up the search. Authorities still were calling on neighbors to help, however, asking them to check their homes, crawl spaces, cars, sheds and “anywhere else a 2-year-old could fit.”
Weaver also asked people to refrain from speculating on the cause of Noah’s disappearance. There have been rumors circulating on social media that Noah Chamberlin may have been abducted or harmed by a family member, but police called on people to discount these rumors and instead only rely on information from the sheriff’s department.
Noah is described as a white male with blonde hair and blue eyes, standing 2-feet tall and weighing about 25 pounds.
Authorities said Noah Chamberlin was wearing a long-sleeved gray t-shirt and jeans when he disappeared. This could add more urgency to the search, with temperatures in the area expected to drop into the teens on Sunday night.
Anyone with information on the disappearance or who has seen Noah Chamberlin is asked to call the Chester County Sheriff’s Office at (731) 989-2787 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
[Image via Tennessee Bureau of Investigation/Facebook]