VIRGINIA

Robert Wood Jr. missing from Hanover County

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Volunteers lined up beginning at 9 a.m. at King's Dominion both Tuesday and Wednesday.

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

“There's a lot of different animals back there, we've seen bear back there and lot a coyotes,” Chris Hutchins of Doswell said Tuesday, returning from an unsuccessful search.

Robert was last seen wearing a red long-sleeved shirt and blue athletic pants. Authorities say that the boy’s autism limits his ability to communicate or speak, and that he will not respond to searchers or rescuers. Some searchers also worried about the surroundings.

As night set in Tuesday, members of the search party returned from the woods. Some paused for a candlelight vigil and to pray.

“We're going to try to go out in the morning and start all over,” said Kathy Ashworth, who volunteered to help search for the boy.

The family has not made a public appeal for help, but people who know them say they are not giving up hope.

More than a thousand area residents showed up early Tuesday morning to Kings Dominion amusement park, where volunteer searchers were being organized and instructed.

“They told us he's kind of a curious little kid and that he might find something to climb in so we have to make sure we check everything we see,” said Peter Billeter, a volunteer searcher.

“I have a child on the autism spectrum and it's a difficult road,” said volunteer searcher Courtney Bailey. “This is a hard thing and I feel sorry for the family.”

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