Missing Yakima boy the only child ‘in recent memory’ not to be found, YCSO says

Family continues the search for 4-year-old Lucian Munguia, who disappeared Saturday from Sarg Hubbard Park.

YAKIMA, Wash. — While Yakima Police Department detectives continue to investigate, they’ve pulled back resources from other agencies assisting in the search for missing 4-year-old Lucian Munguia.

That includes trained search and rescue teams with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, according to spokesperson Casey Schilperoort, who said this case is an outlier among all the other missing children they’ve recovered over the years.

“Normally, when we have calls for missing kids, we usually find them within about an hour’s time,” Schilperoort said. “And normally we find them in their own home or in their own yard.”

Schilperoort said that excludes cases with other children who are in their teens and listed as runaway juveniles, though they end up recovering most of them eventually.

“Most of the time, they’re kids who don’t want to be home or they don’t want to follow the rules at home,” Schilperoort said.

However, Schilperoort said he couldn’t think of any cases within the past decade where YCSO search and rescue teams were unable to find a missing child  — except for Lucian, who remains missing despite the unprecedented response from authorities and the community.

“We don’t normally get, you know, 100, 200 or 300 search and rescue volunteers or community members to come out and help,” Schilperoort said. “It’s almost unheard of, at least for us in the last 10 years.”

Schilperoort said their search and rescue teams will be available to resume search efforts if new information becomes available in the case and they’re called upon by YPD, which is in charge of the investigation.

“It’s one of those cases that will puzzle us for a while, that we are always thinking about, hoping that he’s going to be found,” Schilperoort said. “And it’s one of those where we take quite personally that we haven’t been able to find him yet.”

Family members continue to coordinate search efforts from Sarg Hubbard Park, calling for help from the community and asking them to come help look for their little boy.

“We are here and we are actively looking for solutions. We do believe that he is alive out there,” Lucian’s aunt Amy Bailey said. “We just need people here helping us look.”

Bailey said the family is grateful for all the assistance they’ve received from the community so far, including donations of food from Olive Garden, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, C&S Coffee, other local businesses and volunteers.

“Print Guys just so generously donated over 3,000 flyers to us to since this whole thing has started,” Bailey said. “We’re just going to keep posting those and have people post them on their car so people can see them as you drive around.”

Bailey said they’ve been able to use electric bikes donated by eBoost and ATVs donated by Apple State Powersports to help speed up the process of getting up and down the Yakima Greenway and cover as much ground as possible in their search.

“We appreciate everything that has been given to us; we just ask that you guys keep giving until we can get Lucian back home,” Bailey said. “It doesn’t need to be anything that you need to spend your money on.”

Bailey said the best thing people can give is their time, spent searching for Lucian in the hopes that they’ll be able to bring him home soon.

The family has created a Facebook group, Finding Lucian, to help communicate new information about the search and keep the community updated.