WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police searched a new location Monday for missing 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez. He was reported missing on Feb. 17.
The department said they received new tips over the weekend. KSN found several police cars at Cottonwood Park just northeast of Harry and Woodlawn. Those police cars had left the park by mid-afternoon.
Last week, up to 100 officers searched several parks with the use of dogs and drones.
“We are going to continue to investigate this. It is on the hearts and minds of many in our community. We appreciate the tips that have come in to assist us,” said officer Charley Davidson, Wichita Police Department, spokesman.
Meanwhile, citizen groups were out Monday at Wichita parks where law enforcement officers have already searched. It included Chisholm Creek Park and North Chisholm Creek Park
“We do appreciate their assistance when they are able to help us. The thing I do ask that if they are searching an area, and they locate something they believe may be evidence, don’t disturb that location, don’t disturb that evidence. Have somebody stay with that and have somebody call 911,” added Davidson.
About 50 people conducted line searches through Chisholm Creek Park during the morning hours.
Coumba Hildreth walked the fields carrying her young son on her back.
“If my son was lost, I would want the whole community to come help me bring him back home, so I feel Lucas deserves the same courtesy,” said Hildreth.
Sheila Medlam helped organize the public search. She said the search hits home for her. In 2010, her 5-year-old son, Mason, also went missing.
After being gone for 17 minutes, Medlam said he was found floating in a pond. He died two days later.
“When I look at Lucas I see Mason, and that is unbearable for me to think about what it would be like to not know where my son was,” said Medlam.
Medlam said it says a lot about the community that so many people would come out and try to find Lucas.
“I think we want to be around people that feel the same way we feel, we want to be around people that looked at that little face and fell in love and saw the lovely little boy,” said Medlam.
Others who participated in the search efforts, like Lisa Mayfield, just want answers.
“So many people in Wichita want to see him come home, they want to see him get found, even the kids, my son he’s only nine years old and he keeps asking, what can we do, we need to bring him home,” said Mayfield.
Hernandez’s stepmother, Emily Glass, was jailed last week on two counts of endangering a child involving Lucas and another child. She was charged on Monday afternoon with one count of endangerment. Her bond has been set at $50,000. She is expected back in court on March 13.
If anyone has information on Lucas’ whereabouts or tips, you are asked to call 316-383-4661.