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Search along Eagle River continues for 3-year-old boy with autism

Search for Sebastian Rodriguez Castro_June 10 2020
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 11:08:48-04

EAGLE, Colo. — The search along Eagle River for a young boy who has been missing since Friday will continue Thursday.

Sebastian Rodriguez Castro, 3, was last seen near his apartment at Eagle Villas off Nogal Road in Eagle on Friday. He has autism and is non-verbal.

On Wednesday, crews searched high-probability areas of the Eagle River near where Castro was last seen.

Eagle Police Chief Joey Staufer, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District Chief Doug Cupp and a representative from the FBI met with Castro’s family Wednesday to answer some of their questions. According to the sheriff’s office, “Family concerns regarding a number of rumors were discussed and inaccurate information that had made its way to the family was corrected.”

On Wednesday, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle River Fire Protection District and Vail Mountain Rescue searched the shoreline on foot and the river using paddles, poles and their hands. Vail Mountain Rescue also used a drone in the morning, which captured clear video of the river.

Public safety officials are asking the public to not search the river on their own accord due to high water levels and the threat of underwater debris not visible from the surface. Officials said if somebody required a rescue, it would pull resources away from the search for Castro, according to the sheriff’s office said.

Crews have been using kayaks, boats and a specialized Garfield County Search and Rescue motorized boat, as well as dog teams.

As of Tuesday evening, more than 500 volunteers and 30 first response agencies had helped with the search.

The sheriff’s office said that on the night Castro went missing, the river flows were around 2,000 cubic feet per second. The flows from Wednesday had slowed to 1,700 cubic feet per second. In addition, the water had cleared up significantly, the sheriff’s office said.

Search and rescue crews have found few signs of the young boy. On Saturday, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said an article of clothing was found in the river and was positively identified as belonging to Castro. The phone he had been carrying when he went missing was found in the river by the apartment where he lived.

“Despite exhaustive efforts by both first responders and volunteers, we have been unable to find any other additional clues,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a press release published on Sunday.

Anyone who has information that may help in the search for Castro can call the non-emergency number for Vail Public Safety Communications Center at 970-479-2201.