Missing Special Needs Toddler Prompts Massive Search in Colorado
USLorenz Duchamps

The search for a missing Colorado toddler continued on Tuesday after more than 500 volunteers and first-responders spent countless hours over the weekend searching for the 3-year-old boy.

Sebastian Rodriguez Castro, a special needs child with autism, disappeared on June 6 near an apartment complex in Eagle County, authorities said.

An article of clothing that was positively identified to be Castro’s and the phone he was carrying when he went missing was located over the weekend, but the toddler was nowhere to be found.

The “personal items” were found in the Eagle River below the apartment complex the toddler went missing and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) said further efforts to locate the child will be toward the river.

“Despite exhaustive efforts by both first responders and volunteers, we have been unable to find any other additional clues,” the ECSO said.

“Land-based searches have been extensive, both in town and all surrounding areas,” the sheriff’s office said. “Vail Mountain Rescue will continue to conduct water searches, and air operations will continue, but land-based searches will be suspended unless additional information becomes available.”

Officials are asking the public to not fly private drones near the river and leave water searches to professional teams.

Previous search efforts during the last few days involved ground, searches, helicopters, drone teams, trained search and rescue dog teams, water rescue teams, the FBI, and a 24-hour tip line for leads on Castro’s location.

Some parts of Eagle River that the Vail Mountain Rescue team is searching has multiple spots where conditions are too dangerous and the team will have to wait until water levels subside.

“The search is slow and time consuming, as evidenced by these photos, which show the types of river hazards they have encountered over the past several days,” the ECSO wrote in a release.

On Tuesday, search efforts continued and another trained dog team will be deployed near several locations around the river, the office added.

Officials said they are “tremendously grateful” for the community, volunteers and first-responders who have donated their time and resources to the search.

The office kindly has asked the public to respect the privacy of Castro’s family during the difficult time.