Cadaver dogs, helicopter added to search in 'big push' for missing 4-year-old

Cadaver dogs and a helicopter were called in Friday to help in the search for missing 4-year-old Owen Jones.

Posted: May 31, 2019 5:18 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2019 11:41 PM

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) — Cadaver dogs and an Indiana State Police helicopter were called in Friday to help in the search for missing 4-year-old Owen Jones. With the dry weather Friday afternoon, investigators are doing a "big push" in the search for the boy, eight days since he was last seen.

"It's all with the hope of bringing closure to Owen's family," said Lt. Dan Dulin with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He said that Friday is the last day to find anything on the surface. 

"If we aren't successful today, it's really going to come down to the water level dropping to an area where we can get divers or people wading in the creek because," he said. "After today I feel like we have exhausted all of the search efforts on the surface."

The decision for this big push came after a dry stretch saw the Deer Creek water levels going down. However that hope was dampened after storms came through the area on Thursday, puting water levels back up.

"The water was really falling yesterday, we thought we were in a pretty good spot for today and then obviously yesterday we got a lot more rain," he said.

Despite this, no resource was spared in Friday's search. There were teams from Tippecanoe, Carroll and White Counties, DNR, as well as Lafayette Fire Department. Once cadaver dog searched on land while the other searched on water. Lt. Dulin said they had eight search boats. A drone team from LFD used the drone camer to zoom in on limbs in the water, as well as using thermal imaging, and the ISP helicopter searched for miles along the river from the air.

"We're hopeful that the extra resources that have stepped up today will let us see some areas that we haven't been able to focus on yet," he said. "We're checking all of the strainers or log jams on Deer Creek and the Wabash river for several miles."

After a successful recovery of a kayaker in the Tippecanoe River on Thursday, investigators wanted to keep the strong momentum going in Delphi.

"It's always our goal to bring quick resolution to the family," he said.

The DNR said Jones was swept downstream in the Deer Creek in Delphi around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, May 23. A witness on the Washington Street Bridge reported seeing the Monticello boy in the water and called 911. There has been no sign of Jones since. 

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