VIRGINIA

Robert Wood Jr. missing from Hanover County

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Volunteers were walking along railroad tracks and divers wading through ponds on their third day of searching for a missing Virginia boy.

Thousands have turned out to help in the search for Robbie. (Family photo)

With sticks in hand to comb through tall grass, volunteers tried to remain hopeful.

“Right now most of us believe he still has a good chance of surviving, so we all consider this still rescue oriented,” said Martin Dudziak, who volunteered to help search for the boy.

For the second consecutive day, hundreds of volunteers lined up at Kings Dominion to aid the search. Rough terrain is making their work more difficult.

“It’s difficult. We're going through briar patches. We walked through a swamp. It's not easy, but it needs to be done,” said Laurie Riefmer, another volunteer.

Authorities counted 74 search missions Wednesday, and the efforts will continue around the clock.

“We believe and we are operating under the assumption and with the understanding that Robert Wood Jr. is alive and we are seeking to give him the aid that he need and reunite him with his family,” said Capt. Mike Trice of the Hanover County Sheriff's Department.

Robert Wood Jr., 9, wandered away from his family at North Anna Battlefield Park in Doswell, Va. on Sunday afternoon. He hasn't been seen since. Authorities are concerned that he may have wandered away from the 80-acre park.

More than a thousand people spent Tuesday searching a large park. Members of surrounding sheriff's departments, the state police and the National Guard have joined volunteers in the search.

“He's alone, he's afraid,” said Battalion Chief Willie Jones of the Hanover County Fire Department. “Children's response sometimes is to hide and that's why we have to be very careful.”

 

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