Formal search operations end for missing 7-year-old Dayton boy

Formal search operations have been suspended following an extensive search for a missing 7-year-old boy last seen Saturday evening near Eastwood MetroPark.

Lucas Rosales was fishing with his family Saturday near Harshman Road and the park when he went missing, according to Dayton police. Lucas, who is 3 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds with brown hair and eyes was last seen wearing a white shirt with black sleeves and black pants with black Converse shoes.

“Over the past three days, crews have been actively searching on and and in the water for approximately 21 hours. At this time, the child has not been located,” Dayton Fire Capt. Brad French said.

More than 100 people, including multiple rescue crews, boats, trained volunteer search groups, K-9 teams searched the areas surrounding the initial report as well as other adjacent waterways and surrounding wooded areas, using all available resources including thermal imaging devices, aerial and underwater drones and SONAR devices.

“A pond near the reported location was also drained as part of the search,” French said.

The Dayton Fire Department was assisted by the Dayton Police Department, Riverside Fire Department, Fiver Rivers MetroParks, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Fire Department, Huber Heights Fire Division, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Christian Aid Ministries, Beavercreek Twp. Fire Department, Texas EquuSearch, Dayton Department of Water and others.

Dayton police said there is no reason to suspect foul play, and the family has been working cooperatively with police and fire crews since the 911 call on Saturday evening.

Lucas’ father, Agustin Rosales, during the search on Monday encouraged people to continue praying for his son and that they find him.

He said the family warned Lucas on Saturday to not play close to the water and told him to back up because it’s dangerous.

Lucas was playing near his sister Da’najiah Wakefield and father, but left to join other family members so he wouldn’t scare the fish, Da’najiah said.

One of their family members reported hearing something fall and a splash, as well as someone crying, she said.

The family searched and called for Lucas for about 15 minutes before they called police.

Lucas is enrolled in the Dayton Public School District.

“We are keeping Lucas’ family and friends in our thoughts,” said Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli. “A crisis team is available to provide support to students and staff members during this difficult time.”

Staff Writer Jen Balduf contributed to this report.

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby