NE RYAN LARSEN: Missing from La Vista, NE - 17 May 2021 - Age 11

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Endangered Missing Advisory issued for Omaha boy​

The Nebraska State Patrol has issued an Endangered Missing Advisory for a boy with autism missing from La Vista, near Omaha.

According to a release, Ryan Larsen, 11, was last seen leaving school Monday at La West Elementary.


‘Ultimate game of hide-and-seek,’ search for missing La Vista child continues​

The Nebraska State Patrol issues an Endangered Missing Advisory for a La Vista boy.

Ryan Larsen was last known to be in the area of 78th Street and Terry Drive in La Vista around 12:00 pm on Monday.

Authorities say Ryan has autism, is an 11-year-old white male, 5′ 8″, about 125 lbs with brown hair and hazel eyes. Ryan was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, an Old Navy shirt, and had a polka-dotted umbrella.


“We have no reason to suspect anything other than he walked away,” commented a spokesperson for the La Vista Police Department. “Right now we are just looking for a little boy who is playing the ultimate game of hide-and-seek.”

The official explained that La Vista police has dealt with Larsen before.

“He does like to hide he does like to get away, he likes to hide in small places.”

Larsen is a high-functioning child on the autism spectrum, who police say is non-verbal with anyone he is uncomfortable around. They believe he was in between classes when he slipped away from the school.

 
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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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Boy's disappearance drives plan to install cameras at Papillion La Vista elementaries​

The disappearance of a La Vista student last spring is driving a plan to install surveillance cameras at 16 elementary schools in Papillion La Vista Community Schools.

Under the district’s estimated $900,000 project, cameras would be installed to capture video both inside and outside the schools. The cameras would watch entrances and exits, driveways, drop-off and pick-up areas, playgrounds, the office area, cafeterias and high-traffic corridors.

District officials said Ryan’s disappearance prompted the push to improve surveillance at the schools.

“They heard from parents and staff and law enforcement at that particular time that you really should have cameras in your schools,” said Brett Richards, the school district’s assistant superintendent for business services.

If school board members authorize the purchase, officials aim to award a contract in March and complete the installation by the end of the year, with most work done over the summer.

Federal COVID-19 relief money would cover $500,000 of the cost, with the rest coming from the district.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Kudos to them for listening. I think like apartment complexes, schools and some other places resist not just for budget but because like everything nowadays if something does happen there, it can bring something down on the school for instance...

This case is one that bothers me... I'm just not convinced the bit of info is correct about him leaving school and such... Just another one where something doesn't sit right.

If people want better cameras then apparently they don't have what people feel was adequate just even on school grounds... Imo.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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Online mom searching for Ryan Larsen instrumental in new billboard, bus bench campaign​

Driving westbound on Interstate 80, you can't miss it near 99th street — a bright billboard with Ryan Larsen's picture, reminding drivers the autistic boy is still missing.

"I think it's awesome. The more the word gets out, the more the word continues to stay out and he isn't forgotten," La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten said.

"A lot of us haven't forgotten about Ryan," Lisa Meridith said. "I can say I think of him every day."

https://www.ketv.com/article/from-m...months-since-ryan-larsen-disappeared/38258427
Soon after, the national non-profit A Voice for the Voiceless and an online sleuth group, True Crime Sisters, started making their own videos and flyers.

"You communicate, you're on social media and say, 'What can I do?' and it just becomes a ripple effect and everybody does what they can, and at this point, we've got billboards and awareness," founder Whitney Sich said.

Theresa Rivera took it to another level. During a Google search, she found Lamar Advertising and Omaha Bus Benches, who donated the space.

"They were familiar with Ryan's story and they wanted to help," Rivera said.

Lausten said no tips have come in. Tuesday, they searched a field one mile from Ryan's home and found nothing. He calls this an active case. Lausten hopes the billboard and bus benches move someone to come forward with information.

"We need closure on this, closure for the family, closure for the community and in respect of Ryan, we need to find where he is at," Lausten said.

"I'm hoping it continues to bring visibility and jogs someone's memory," Rivera said. "I just hope it helps in some way to find him."


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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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The search for Ryan Larsen of La Vista continues as one-year mark of disappearance nears
Approaching the one-year mark since the disappearance of now 12-year-old Ryan Larsen and investigators remain stumped.

"We've kind of hit a wall at times," said La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten.


In the days that followed, people turned out in large numbers combing through a number of different places. A recent search effort brought La Vista police and Sarpy County rescue crews to a field near 66th and Harrison Streets. That's not far from Seymour Smith Park.

"Going over areas we had searched before. We're trying to leave no stone unturned."

Drivers at an intersection by the Ralston city line are also reminded of Ryan's disappearance through a bus bench.

"It's heartwarming for us to know that the public hasn't forgotten."

"If you see any little thing you might think is helpful, let someone know," said Ryan Wedekind.


Back in La Vista, Chief Lausten says investigators remain committed to Ryan's case every day.

"This one is important to us," said Chief Lausten.

A billboard about Ryan has also been set up in Omaha. Like the bus bench, it's designed to catch the attention of passersby.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

'Somebody knows something,' La Vista police chief needs evidence to find missing Ryan Larsen​

When you walk into the La Vista Police Department, one of the first things you'll see is Ryan Larsen's picture.

"It's been a year and the case is still under investigation," said Chief Bob Lausten.

"We've looked everywhere."

Lausten says his department knew Ryan.

They found the boy with autism safe, a half dozen other times, when he'd walked out of La Vista West Elementary.

This time, on May 17, 2021, something went wrong.


Nine months ago, investigators asked Google for help, getting search warrants for all phone activity in that area on that day.

Lausten said social media, Google searches and texts are just starting to come in.

"We've been working with them to narrow that large batch of information down but our timeline and their timeline are two different timelines," he said.

The first few hours of a missing child investigation are key and Lausten said some people muddied the search.

"We've had people that haven't been totally forthcoming with us regarding information," he said. "We've had people that have lied to us about information, so it's been frustrating."


Searchers are going back to Walnut Creek Recreation Area Tuesday, another location Ryan liked to visit. They will use an underwater drone and special sonar equipment.

Last summer, they lowered the water level and cadaver dogs detected human decay but police don't know if that's Ryan's scent.

"With the water clearing up, we just want to take another look," he said. "Something's in there."

The chief has a message to those who know what happened to Ryan. He said it's time for someone to do the right thing.

"This is about him. This isn't about someone who may have information that is scared and that is thinking they will get in trouble," he said. "Somebody knows something and somebody needs to tell us."
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter

'Somebody knows something,' La Vista police chief needs evidence to find missing Ryan Larsen​

When you walk into the La Vista Police Department, one of the first things you'll see is Ryan Larsen's picture.

"It's been a year and the case is still under investigation," said Chief Bob Lausten.

"We've looked everywhere."

Lausten says his department knew Ryan.

They found the boy with autism safe, a half dozen other times, when he'd walked out of La Vista West Elementary.

This time, on May 17, 2021, something went wrong.


Nine months ago, investigators asked Google for help, getting search warrants for all phone activity in that area on that day.

Lausten said social media, Google searches and texts are just starting to come in.

"We've been working with them to narrow that large batch of information down but our timeline and their timeline are two different timelines," he said.

The first few hours of a missing child investigation are key and Lausten said some people muddied the search.

"We've had people that haven't been totally forthcoming with us regarding information," he said. "We've had people that have lied to us about information, so it's been frustrating."


Searchers are going back to Walnut Creek Recreation Area Tuesday, another location Ryan liked to visit. They will use an underwater drone and special sonar equipment.

Last summer, they lowered the water level and cadaver dogs detected human decay but police don't know if that's Ryan's scent.

"With the water clearing up, we just want to take another look," he said. "Something's in there."

The chief has a message to those who know what happened to Ryan. He said it's time for someone to do the right thing.

"This is about him. This isn't about someone who may have information that is scared and that is thinking they will get in trouble," he said. "Somebody knows something and somebody needs to tell us."
So now we have people muddying the search and lying. This one from the start sounded as if it was simply a child with autism that went missing but I never thought it sat right. Even here he has taken off from school before it says and yet no one seemed to be watching if he was known to do so, no cameras, etc. and then they stated looking in areas so far away that he would have had to travel/walk, too far really etc. if I recall.

I think what bothers me in cases like this (a child with autism) is it seems so easily jumped to that of course they wandered off, hide, are in water, etc. because it is not an unlikely thing for them to do BUT people also know such children/people are vulnerable and can be taken advantage of easily (and people who pick on or take advantage of others abound in this world) and they also often have parents or caregivers who are naturally quite stressed sometimes.

I don't think there is really any hope here that this child is alive but I pray they do find him and find answers.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

One year later: Searchers return to Walnut Creek to look for missing autistic La Vista boy​

Law enforcement is focusing on Walnut Creek Recreation Area in the search for Ryan Larsen, 12. La Vista police Chief Ryan Larsen said this is the only place where they have something to go on. He said a cadaver dog smelled human remains last year.

The Sarpy County Search and Rescue team spent a few hours on the water in a boat Tuesday morning.

"We have some new equipment available to us that Sarpy County has, so they wanted to put that in the lake and the lake is a lot clearer now than it was the last time we were out there," Lausten said.

This day has more meaning though, as Larsen vanished one year ago. He walked out of his school, La Vista West Elementary around 11:45 a.m. He was seen two hours later at his apartment complex near 84th and Harrison Streets and hasn't been seen since.

"We are trying to find a young man that's out there somewhere," Lausten said.

Volunteer Patrick Morrissey and his specially-trained cadaver dog, Prize, are back at it again too. Morrissey said Prize was interested in an area last year and they went back today.

"It's been a year but he's not interested there," Morrissey said.

Prize can tell the difference between human and animal remains. But the scent that got him excited last year isn't as strong 12 months later.

"Water is a different story because water is always moving so the scent is moving away from the land," he said. "Water is a moving target."

Prize even sniffed out the shore and land in that area.

But he didn't find anything significant.

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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
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A year after La Vista boy's disappearance, mother holds onto hope her son is alive​

Super sweet. Super helpful. A big imagination. A bigger heart.

That is how Tammi Larsen describes her youngest child and only son. Ryan was the last of her four children still at home. Her youngest daughter had just graduated from high school and moved to a community two hours away. Her two older daughters also were grown and starting their own families. His father had never been part of his life.

Tammi Larsen said Ryan was always looking for ways to help. For example, if the carts were a mess in a grocery store parking lot, he would arrange them and put them together.

Ryan’s reward for doing well at school? Being allowed to help the janitor.

“He would get to help the janitor do different projects,” his mother said. “Take out the trash, go help in the lunchroom, picking up stuff. That was the reward he chose — to help the janitor.”

He was creative and liked building things with Legos, cardboard and tape, Larsen said.

“He is the kindest little boy,” said Christy Latham, the oldest of Ryan’s three sisters.

Ryan’s autism affected the way he communicated and interacted with others. It made him prone to anxiety and, when stressed — as his mother believes he was on the day he disappeared — he coped by walking away. He also has Tourette syndrome — a condition of the nervous system — and epilepsy, so he was on a range of medications.

His sister, Taylor Larsen, wrote on Facebook soon after her brother’s disappearance that his autism made him who he is.

“At first he is shy, but once you get to know him, he won’t stop talking. The media is saying he suffers from autism, but I think that is what makes him who he is,” she wrote. “I envy him for being able to ignore what other people think ... He is ambitious and has overcome great things ... Ryan is deeply loved by our family and friends.”

Tammi Larsen is convinced her son is alive and she sees hope in the fact that her son hasn’t been found.

“I tell the girls every day that: ‘Every day we don’t get that phone call is one more chance we have of getting him back.’ I still believe he’s out there somewhere. We just have to find him.”

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“He was actually very happy,” Tammi Larsen said. “One of the things we’d been working on was him getting dressed by himself, and it was a pretty successful morning. I dropped him off (at school) and everything seemed to be OK.”

It was a Monday. The Omaha area was in the midst of a wet spell, so Larsen grabbed an umbrella for Ryan as they left their apartment.

The umbrella later would be the only physical evidence that appears to place Ryan back at the family’s apartment building after he left his grade school.

A sixth grader, Ryan attended La Vista West Elementary School, the same school his mother had attended as a little girl. The school was about a five-minute walk from the apartment where he and his mother lived, and about a 10-minute walk from his grandmother’s home.

Officials with the Papillion La Vista Community Schools have declined to talk about what happened because of a possible lawsuit by the Larsen family.

Tammi Larsen provided the following account of what she said she has been told about that day at school:

Ryan had been struggling with a math problem that morning and had gotten frustrated to the point that he needed to be alone to settle down.

In accordance with the individual educational program his mother and the school had agreed to, Ryan went to a separate room to be by himself but under the supervision of an adult. That adult stayed with him until needing to leave. The adult’s replacement was late, and it was during this unsupervised time that Ryan left.

Ryan’s mother said she has been told he was discovered missing from that room between 11:45 a.m. and 11:55 a.m.

Lausten said police records indicate Ryan last was seen between 11:55 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. as he walked past the elementary school office with his umbrella. As he did so, the school secretary called out to Ryan to say that she would hold his umbrella for him, Lausten said. But Ryan kept walking, he said.

According to the time stamp on Larsen’s voice mail, she said she was notified by the school at 12:27 p.m. that her son was missing.

According to Lausten, the school called 911 to report him missing at about 12:29 p.m. and police arrived there at 12:32 p.m.


MUCH MORE AT LINK!
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member

Family, friends release balloons to celebrate missing La Vista boy’s birthday​

Wednesday night, family and friends gathered in La Vista to celebrate a somber day, Ryan Larsen’s 13th birthday.

Dozens of colorful balloons were released as the family marked Ryan’s second birthday since he went missing in May 2021 at the age of 11.


Family members say they just want Ryan, wherever he is, to know that he is loved and they’re still hoping for his safe return.

Community members were invited to sign a poster, which will be hung in Ryan’s room.
 

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