Family urges focus in search for missing teenager as new technology arrives

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LA PORTE CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - New technology will help crews in the search for missing 16 year-old, Jake Wilson.

Wilson, who is on the autism spectrum, was last seen last Saturday, April 7th, when he left to walk to Wolf Creek at night. That triggered a massive volunteer search effort with hundreds of people scouring several miles around the creek with no sign of Wilson or foul play. That search is now focused on the creek itself.

Friday, searchers cleared log jams and debris in the creek and searched deeper pockets of water for any sign of Wilson. The volunteers now are limited to those with water search and rescue skills, primarily fire fighters, law enforcement and other emergency responders. Those crews covered about half of the Wolf Creek area between where Jake was last seen and the Cedar River.

Crews said new technology will arrive Saturday to help in that search, including remote vehicles and sonar to help search areas of the creek and Cedar River. Sheriff Tony Thompson alluded to a piece of new technology from the Cedar Rapids area but declined to elaborate on specifics of that equipment.

Wilson's family also issued a statement calling for public support and support from the media to help keep the focus on the search for Jake.

"No parent should have to feel the agony that the entire family has been experiencing," the statement said. "We ask that everyone please respect our family during this difficult time, the next few days will be very important to us."

The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office says if you have any photographs or videos taken on Saturday, April 7, in La Porte City, you should upload them to https://tips.fbi.gov/digitalmedia/3d0172758feedf3.