The hunt for 2-year-old Syler Newton is into its fourth day, and the search area is about to get bigger.
Dwight D’Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, reported Tuesday that investigators plan to widen the search area to make sure searchers are being as thorough as possible.
“(The search is) moving forward, but these things take time,” he said.
Syler went to the Beaver Creek Campgrounds Friday with his custodial mother, Christina Priem, her two children, a family friend and Priem’s mother, Nancy Collins.
Priem last saw Syler around 12:30 a.m. Sunday as the boy slept in a tent with Priem, Collins and Priem’s 12-year-old daughter. Priem’s 14-year-old son and his 14-year-old friend were sleeping in an adjacent tent. Priem discovered Syler missing at 1:45 a.m.
A family member called the Sedona Fire Department around 2 a.m. Sunday morning but, as someone sent the call to the sheriff’s communications center, the call got dropped. The host at the campgrounds called the sheriff’s office at 2:30 a.m. and deputies arrived just before 3 a.m.
While the investigation and search into Syler’s disappearance continues, people such as Larry Lowe are vital to search efforts.
Lowe, a recruiter with the Yavapai County Jeep Posse, said the 48 active volunteer members do practice searches and classroom exercises at least once a month.
Topographical map reading and using GPS are some of the tools they rely on, according to Lowe, who said another important tool is their 4-wheel-drive vehicles that they load with food, clothing and first-aid equipment.
All that prepares them for missions like helping to find Syler in all types of terrain and weather.
“Basically, what it amounts to is you’re equipped for all conditions at all times,” he said.
That said, tracking down a missing child is different than looking for an adult, Lowe said.
That’s because adults usually know to bring the right clothes and other items for hikes or camping trips.
And Lowe said adults use their reasoning and judgment skills, something young children like Syler don’t.
“Kids just go, and they go until they exhaust themselves and then they’ll hunker down someplace until they rest up or they are found or something of that nature,” he said. “Children don’t realize they’re lost, adults do.”
For more information on the Yavapai County Jeep Posse, visit www.ycjp.org