The search for Jerold Joseph Williams, a five-year-old boy who vanished seemingly right out from under his mother’s watchful gaze on Thursday, enters its fourth day on Sunday with no sign of the missing child despite a massive search effort through rugged terrain involving more than 300 personnel from numerous agencies — even the United States Air Force.
The searchers have been forced to battle through severe weather conditions as they continue to hunt for the mysteriously disappeared little boy, who stands just three-and-a-half-feet tall. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is leading the multi-agency search which has faced heavy rains and 40 mile-per-hour winds, as Jerold’s mom continues to hope desperately that her young son will turn up somehow.
Joseph lives in Colorado City, Arizona. His mom and a large group of approximately 20individuals were camping outside of Jacobs Lake, Arizona, at a site about 70 miles from Colorado City on Thursday — a site on the northern edge of Kaibab National Forest and 44 miles north of Grand Canyon National Park.
But at about 1:30 that afternoon, their world turned upside down.
Jerold and his mom had strayed about 100 or 200 yards from the main camp site, according to sheriff’s deputies, and the five-year-old was happily chasing grasshoppers when, according to published accounts, his mom somehow “lost sight” of him.
No other details of how Jerold’s mother lost track of the boy were made public. But apparently, in the time that Jerold was out of his mother’s line of vision, he completely disappeared.
The camping group at first believed that Jerold would be easy to find and searched on their own. But after spending four hours combing the area and turning up nothing, they finally called in the authorities. But sheriff’s spokesperson Gerald Blair said such delays in situations like this one are not uncommon.
“We don’t get an immediate call because they think they can find him,” Blair said. “We didn’t get this thing until 5:30 p.m (Thursday). We did as much as we could with both operations on the ground and in the air, but we were short on daylight.”
Searchers from four neighboring counties have joined the search for Jerold Williams, as have members of the United States Forest Service and numerous other state and federal agencies — including two night-vision helicopters from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The National Guard has also provided personell and resources to the search for the missing little boy.
Just two weeks ago, a missing boy in Virgina, Joel Martinez Mercado, sadly, was found dead in a river. But the outlook for Jerold Williams remains uncertain.
Jerold Joseph Williams is described as weighing 35 pounds, with light brown hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion. He also displays what police call “visible facial abrasions.” Searchers are asking anyone with information about where he might be, or how he suddenly disappeared, to come forward by calling the Coconino Sheriff at (928) 774-4523.