JACOB LAKE, Ariz. – The search for a 5-year-old boy continues Saturday night in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest near Jacob Lake, Arizona. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing boy as a Colorado City, Arizona, resident.
“The missing child is from Colorado City and there has been huge support from the community in Colorado City in assisting with this search,” a press release issued Saturday by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said. “In addition to assisting on search teams, members of the community have been preparing meals for the responders.”
Thursday evening at approximately 5:30 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office received reports that the boy, Jerold Williams, had gone missing from an unimproved campsite located approximately 12 miles south of Jacob Lake on a Forest Service road.
Responders from all over Arizona and neighboring Utah have joined the search for the boy, including personnel from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue, Kane County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue, Mohave County Search and Rescue, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement and fire crews, National Park Service law enforcement, Arizona Game and Fish law enforcement, Coconino County CERT teams, Page Rural CERT teams, Nellis Air Force Base, National Guard Black Hawk and Special Forces, Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers and Air Rescue, Bureau of Land Management personnel and dog teams, and Civil Air Patrol.
As of Saturday afternoon, the aid of the Washington County Search and Rescue team had also been requested, and the team planned to join the search on Sunday, Darrell Cashin, Washington County Sheriff’s deputy and search and rescue liaison, said.
Searchers battled heavy rains and winds in excess of 40 mph throughout the night Thursday and throughout the day Friday, according to the press release, which created extremely muddy conditions and left only small windows for aircraft assistance.
“The weather today (Saturday) has improved significantly and allowed for the use of more air resources,” the press release said. “There are approximately 300-350 searchers in the field.”
The boy and his mother were at a campsite with a group of 15-20 family members and friends when Jerold went missing, a Friday press release from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said. Jerold was reportedly chasing grasshoppers when his mother lost sight of him.
The group searched for four hours before calling authorities for help Thursday evening.
A primary concern in a situation like this, when someone is missing in a remote area, is whether the person is able to find fresh water, Cashin said.
At this time, those interested in helping with the search are asked not to go to Jacob Lake.
“We extend our gratitude to all those who have volunteered and who have expressed their willingness to volunteer,” the press release said. “We have been able to integrate many volunteers into this search mission, and at this time we are not requesting additional volunteers. We are taking names and information from those who would like to be on a list in the event we need to request additional resources.”
Those wishing to offer assistance or resources are asked to call 928-226-5012 and leave their information.
Jerold Joseph Williams’ description:
- Age: 5
- Gender: Male
- Race: White
- Height: 3 feet 6 inches
- Weight: 35 pounds
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Short, brown
- Clothing: gray/tan shirt (size 4), blue jeans (size 4), hiking boots (size 12), white long-handled underwear.
- Identifying marks: visible facial abrasions
Anyone with information regarding the possible location of Jerold Williams or the circumstances leading up to his disappearance is urged to call the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 928-774-4523.
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- MISSING: Search continues for 5-year-old Jerold Williams, Jacob Lake
- MISSING: Multi-Agency Task Force searches for 5-year-old boy near Jacob Lake
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