Little Lucas Hernandez has been missing for two weeks, prompting authorities to ramp up the search for the Wichita, Kansas, boy. Police have now enlisted the assistance of Texas EquuSearch in an effort to locate Lucas and bring him home.
Since Lucas vanished, authorities have conducted a number of searches in five different Wichita parks, as well as the neighborhood in which the child lives, using canine units, horses, and drones, according to The Wichita Eagle.
Members of the renowned group Texas Equusearch made their way to Wichita on Saturday to search for Lucas in a location that has not been announced to the public, reports KAKE News.
According to the Texas Equusearch website, the group has searched for and located over 400 missing people internationally and returned them safely to their homes.
Despite the searches already conducted in the two weeks since Lucas went missing, Wichita Police Captain Brent Allred is hopeful the boy will be found. According to KAKE News, Allred said everyone wants to “find Lucas very badly” and the fact that he’s still missing “eats at you every day.” The captain added that people in the area have Lucas’ case on their minds “24-7.”
Allred noted that “Lucas didn’t just walk out of his house.” He said that “somebody or somebodies [sic]” have information that will lead authorities to the 5-year-old.
Lucas was reported missing by his stepmother, Emily Glass, 26, on February 17 at around 6:15 p.m. She told police that she last saw the boy at about 3 p.m. in his bedroom before she showered and fell asleep, according to The Wichita Eagle.
An Amber Alert was not issued for Lucas because, according to police, there was no evidence that Lucas had been abducted, reports The Wichita Eagle.
Glass was subsequently charged with child endangerment, according to KWCH 12. The complaint against Glass alleges that on February 16, a day before she reported Lucas missing, she allowed a 1-year-old child to be placed in a dangerous situation.
The Wichita Eagle notes that Glass, who remains jailed on a $50,000 bond, has a 1-year-old daughter.
Lucas was born on December 3, 2012, and is described as being approximately 4 feet in height and weighing about 60 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a gray shirt with a bear on it, black sweatpants, and white socks.
The Wichita Police Department is urging anyone with information regarding Lucas to call on their tip line at 316-383-4661.