The search for Jesse Wilson has now stretched for one week, prompting a giant response from the suburban Phoenix community to find the missing 10-year-old and bring him home.
Wilson disappeared last week, reportedly slipping out of his bedroom window sometime on Sunday night and not returning. The boy’s mother said he had been known to slip out before, but he always returned.
But even as the hunt for Wilson has turned up few clues, the community of Buckeye, Arizona, has turned out in droves to offer whatever help they can. Those volunteers met at an event held Sunday night at Jesse’s school, where there were refreshments and a sanctuary set up as a place to pray, ABC 15 reported.
Staff members at Jesse’s school have joined the effort as well, lining the boy’s bus route with yellow ribbons in what AZCentral.com described as an effort to “Lead Jesse Home.”
School officials even started a web page with information about Jesse and the circumstances of his disappearance. The site noted that the school would remain open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. during the search for Jesse so that volunteers can rest and get refreshments.
Jesse’s mother said seeing the entire community come together has been a comfort in an otherwise very difficult time.
“This is like being around family,” Wilson said. “I couldn’t have joined together the stuff they’ve done.”
As the hunt for Jesse hits one week, the mystery of his disappearance remains. Some of the circumstances surrounding Jesse’s disappearance are unclear, and police have said that they are not ruling out foul play.
Jesse’s mother, Crystal Wilson, opened up this week about her son’s energy and enthusiasm for life. She described him as a sweet boy who can sometimes be a bit mischievous, AZCentral.com reported. She called him a “snack grabber” with a sweet tooth that sometimes got him into trouble, recalling a time when the lactose-intolerant boy “got the runs” at school from eating something he wasn’t supposed to.
But Jesse Wilson got into some real mischief as well, the report noted.
“Wilson described a night several months ago when Jesse left home after having slipped out of his second-floor bedroom window. He scratched the side of his face in the process of jumping onto an electrical box and then to the ground.
“A police officer found Jesse hanging out in the back of a pickup truck down the street, Wilson said. The doorbell rang at 4 a.m., and she opened the door to find the officer and Jesse. The boy told his mother that he had just wanted to go to school — he loved school, she said.”
There have been a number of setbacks in the search for Jesse Wilson. Temperatures topped 110 degrees throughout the week, making it difficult for volunteers to comb the area. Some of the search areas included rough desert terrain, prompting authorities to ask for people with experience hiking in the area to cover those parts.
Police have also used drones and tracking dogs across the desert terrain near Jesse’s home.
They have had plenty of help from the community. Such a large number of volunteers turned out that authorities needed to bring school buses in order to transport them all to the search areas. Many of them were parents from the area, saying they were drawn to help the family find Jesse and bring him home.
“I can’t even imagine the feeling of having a lost child… the uncertainty of the outcome,” Charles Brown, a father of two from Buckeye, told AZCentral.com. “Hopefully this (situation) will turn out fine.”
Authorities described Jesse Wilson as an African-American boy who is four feet tall and weighs 60 pounds. He was wearing shorts and a red shirt with black shoes and black socks when he was last seen. Anyone with information about Jesse’s disappearance or his potential whereabouts is asked to call the Buckeye Police Department at (623) 349-6400.
[Image via Buckeye Police Department]