The search for Noah Chamberlin continued on with no progress, and now police are starting to quell rumors that that missing 2-year-old may have actually been abducted by family members.
Chamberlin went missing last Thursday afternoon while on a walk with his grandmother and 4-year-old sister in rural Tennessee. Noah’s grandmother said she turned her attention to the girl for a moment and when she looked back, Noah was gone.
Law enforcement from across the state, as well as thousands of volunteers, have come in to search for Noah, but now on its seventh day the search has failed to turn up any sign of the boy.
As the search for Noah Chamberlin stretches on with no positive updates, many people are starting to point fingers at the boy’s family. Rumors circulated online that the grandmother — or possibly Noah’s parents — were really responsible for his disappearance.
But police reiterated that no family members are under suspicion and they have no reason to believe foul play was involved in the boy’s disappearance.
“We have interviewed the entire family multiple times,” Chester County Sheriff Blair Weaver told reporters at a news conference Tuesday, according to the Jackson Sun.
“We can find no reason, none whatsoever, to discredit them.”
On Wednesday, officials reiterated that the hunt for 2-year-old Noah Chamberlin remains a “search and rescue operation.”
Tom Mapes, a spokesman for Madison County, said that close to 100 trained law enforcement and emergency personnel were still searching property near where Chamberlin disappeared, the Jackson Sun reported. But the search crews in recent days have sometimes called off volunteers from searching, citing cold and wet conditions.
But authorities have reiterated that they are confident the boy is still within the search area.
— George Brown (@georgebrownmem) January 19, 2016
Some of the rumors that Noah Chamberlin was abducted may have stemmed from the involvement of the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Some neighbors reported that the FBI had questioned them regarding the boy’s disappearance.
— Kristin Leigh (@Fox13Kristin) January 19, 2016
Search crews said the hunt for Noah is difficult given the terrain, which is filled with sinkholes and small bodies of water.
“There’s lots of ground to cover, lots of places to go, lots of ditches, lots of bodies of water, about anything you can think of is out there,” said Madison County Fire Department Chief Eric Turner.
This has led to frustration from those leading the search.
“The frustrating side, the bewildering side, is that we’ve found nothing,” Mapes said. “All this manpower, all the technical, infrared sightings, hundreds of volunteers going arm-to-arm through all these acres. Nothing, absolutely nothing.”
Weaver said there is also growing frustration with search crews. There have been more than 200 agencies involved, with thousands more volunteers and neighbors called on to check their sheds, backyards, and anywhere else a boy might hide — all with no signs of Noah.
“I’m tired,” Weaver said Monday morning. “It’s not frustration, it’s we’re tired. We’ve been out 70 hours, Sheriff Mehr and myself, before we went home. We have dedication to find Noah and we have a faith and belief that we’re going to find him. We’re doing everything possibly human to find him.”
As crews continue to search in the woods in Tennessee, Noah Chamberlin has now been added to the list of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, a national database listing all children reported missing.
[Image via Chamberlin family]