Arizona Tot Still Missing from Campground

July 29, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

Search and rescue crews continue to comb the Beaver Creek Campgrounds in Arizona where a 2-year-old Flagstaff boy went missing this past weekend.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office continues to look for Syler Newton, who disappeared from his family’s campsite early Sunday morning, the Prescott Daily Courier reported.

Bloodhounds from the Department of Corrections, a Department of Public Safety helicopter crew and volunteers are part of the round-the-clock search in the area, which is about two miles from Interstate 17 and off Forest Road 618.

Sheriff’s spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said the boy’s custodial mother, Christina Priem, 36, Christina’s mother, Nancy Collins, 57, Syler’s 12-year-old sister and 14-year-old brother and a 14-year-old friend went on the camping trip.

D’Evelyn said the family members are not suspects or facing any charges at this time and they are cooperating with investigators, who are also working to talk to Syler’s biological mother.

Priem, who is attempting to adopt the boy, last saw him in a sleeping bag with one of her children around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Around 1:45 a.m., Priem discovered Syler was missing and tried to call the Sedona Fire Department for help about 15 minutes later, according to D’Evelyn, who said YCSO deputies got to the scene around 3 a.m.

D’Evelyn said deputies went through interviews with about 25 campers and took the family’s tents along with a Toyota Corolla and Camry to search for evidence.

“We’re working from the inside out,” he said.

The search is a conundrum for Jeff Newnum and his crew.

Newnum, search and rescue coordinator for the sheriff’s department, said the area was cut into grids as they looked for places a small child might hunker down under a bush or a fallen tree, for example.

A search of five pools in the area also came up empty, according to Newnum, who said they have not found any trace of blood from an animal trying to take the toddler away.

Mountain lions, insects, lizards, bears and coyotes live in the area.

“We have not seen any type of predatory attack in our search area,” he said.

D’Evelyn said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping out, and at least one of the adults with Syler took a polygraph test, which is normal in a missing child investigation.

Newnum said the search at the campgrounds will continue for the next few days.


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