An air, water and land search that has drawn up to 250 authorities and volunteers continued today for a 3-year-old Topeka boy who disappeared Thursday evening at a northside campground at Clinton Lake.
Meanwhile, a relative of the boy said today that she feared the child had been abducted.
Douglas County sheriff's officers said today that the boy, Adam Clarence Edmonds, disappeared shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday outside a campground restroom.
Sheriff Loren Anderson said Adam and his father, Bernard C. Edmonds, went into the restroom at the same time, but the boy exited 15 to 30 seconds before his father.
When Bernard Edmonds got out of the restroom, Anderson said, Adam was gone. He said Edmonds searched the area for a short time before authorities were contacted.
AUTHORITIES organized a search party made up of as many as 250 people. Searchers included law enforcement officers, firefighters, Skywarn volunteers and campers.
Anderson said that between midnight and 4 a.m., searchers used night-vision equipment provided by Fort Riley authorities. Searchers stopped at 4 a.m., then resumed around daybreak.
About 25 searchers, including six divers and a Kansas National Guard helicopter team, were at the campground today. Anderson said land searchers are combing an area about one-half mile wide and 1 miles long. Divers were scouring the area near the restroom, which is about 25 yards from the water's edge.
He said that during interviews with authorities, Bernard Edmonds reported hearing his son talking to someone before he disappeared. There also was a report of a gray car seen speeding away from the area.
Doris Anderson, a rural Lawrence woman who identified herself as Adam's great-aunt, this morning said she didn't think the child would have wandered off.
"That's my fear that he's been taken by someone," she said.
Mrs. Anderson described Adam as being extremely close to his father, and she didn't think Adam would stray from him.
SHE FURTHER described the boy as very outgoing and talkative.
"He would talk to anyone," she said.
Sheriff's officers reported that Adam is about 2 feet tall, 35 pounds and was wearing purple flower-print shorts, white shoes with Batman printed on them and no shirt. He has short blond hair with a one-inch "rat tail" in back.
Sheriff Anderson said Adam and his father had been at the lake a couple of nights with Bernard Edmonds' parents. Adam's mother had not accompanied them but came to the site after being notified about her son's disappearance.
Anderson said authorities have sketchy details about the gray car and the voices heard by Bernard Edmonds. He said authorities were unsure whether foul play was involved.
Asked whether the disappearance was being investigated as an abduction, Anderson said: "At this point, it's a missing person."
He said Adam was not afraid of the water, but he did not know whether the boy knew how to swim.
Anderson described the parents' emotional state as "apprehensive."
"They're hoping for the best," he said.