Divers search Yakima waterways, but no sign of missing 4-year-old

Authorities said not only is the family facing the devastation of missing a child, social media has been hounding the family with unfounded theories.

YAKIMA – More than 500 people have searched for missing 4-year-old Lucian Munguia by this time last week; searchers included law enforcement, search and rescue and community volunteers.

But there are no new clues as to where the Yakima boy may be and now those search parties have dwindled; just a small number of volunteers and family members remain. Family members said with every passing day, the frustration has grown.

“As time passes on, people are moving on with their lives, but we are not,” said Amy Bailey, who is Lucian’s aunt.

Bailey said the family has been working nonstop to find her nephew. Many of the volunteers and family members sleep just a couple of hours a night, often in a car parked at the playground.

“It’s really, really hard to not have answers and to feel like we’re not gonna get closure from this,” Bailey said. “It’s hard not to feel like he’s going to be gone forever.”

Family members said they are doing everything possible to make sure the community doesn’t forget Lucian. They have put flyers up everywhere.

Bodies of water near where Lucian went missing like Buchanan Lake have been double checked by River Runners from a kayaking club and private dive team. The area was covered more than once by trained search and rescue teams and volunteers, who have expanded the search.

“They are very positive they didn’t see anything, but the GoPro — they are going to review it and see if there’s something that could possibly be [there],” Bailey said. “But as of right now, we have no reason to believe that he is in any of the ponds or lakes in the surrounding area.”

Adding to the stress are the constant comments on social media in reference to the search. Bailey said many people are weighing in with their own ideas and that’s harming the family.

Unfounded comments, gossip and especially, tips, are also harming the search efforts, by periodically sending searchers on wild goose chases and taking up valuable time and resources.

“There was a false tip that he was found deceased and I mean, you know, that’s going to hit that hinder our search because we’re not getting any volunteers from the community,” said Kyle Cameron with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. “I think it’s a little cruel, and I think that it definitely hinders our search efforts.”

Bailey said she’s seen comments that attack Lucian’s parents for not putting themselves in front of the cameras more. But family members said the parents are busy searching for their son and want to keep the focus on finding him.

“People who think they’re helping by posting their input, as far as what happened or what their opinions are, are not helping the family,” Cameron said. “It’s just dragging them down and they’re already in a bad place as it is.”

Cameron said if people really want to help, they should get out from behind the computer and volunteer to search for Lucian. He said the sheriff’s office will be bringing in more cadaver dogs to search the area again in case anything was missed before.

The family is simply asking that people don’t forget about Lucian and take some time to help search, distribute missing child flyers or even support the family with prayers.