UPDATE 8:05 p.m.: The Jefferson City Police Department drained the Linden Way pond in their continued search for 4-year-old Darnell Gray.
Several community members came out to show their support, including Cheryl Barbero, a neighbor in the area.
“These are our neighbors, we care about all these people around here,” Barbero said.
Barbero said she has grandkids and she does not understand how a child could just wander out the door by himself.
“To get them out the door, you really have to push to get their coats, hats, and backpacks on,” Barbero said.
Lt. David Williams said they had divers in the pond last week, but they wanted to check the Linden Way pond again.
“It’s a close large body of water from the residence so we want to make sure we’re covering all the bases that we can,” Williams said.
He said the water conditions have them racing against the clock.
“Cold evenings, really cold mornings, exposure for an adult is almost too much,” Williams said.
Williams said they have raised the reward amount to $11,000, which is being funded by the JCPD, the FBI, and CrimeStoppers.
ORIGINAL: Jefferson City police and community members continue to search for Darnell Gray, 4, of Jefferson City, on Sunday.
The boy was reported missing Thursday morning, but officials said it’s possible he wandered off from his home in the 1100 block of Buena Vista Street Wednesday night.
Lt. David Williams with the Jefferson City Police Department sent a release Sunday, saying they’re now offering a plea on behalf of the missing child.
Williams said the amount of time that Darnell has been missing is beyond critical, and that it’s imperative Darnell is found and returned to his family.
Mary Coley, a volunteer with the non-for-profit organization Missouri Missing, said they need more community members out helping in the search.
The organization has been stationing at Washington Park, searching the surrounding areas, because it is near Darnell’s home.
Williams said anyone who knows the whereabouts of Darnell can contact authorities and remain anonymous.
Gray is about 3 foot, 10 inches tall, 50 pounds and missing his two front teeth. He was last seen wearing a black and white sleeper, black coat, red Spider-Man Velcro shoes, and possible a Mickey Mouse cap.
Police said the boy’s Black Panther backpack was also missing from the home where he was staying, and they believe he took it with him.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Jefferson City Police Department at (573)634-6400), Crimestoppers 659-TIPS (659-8477).