Public Safety

Renewed search planned for missing La Porte City teen with autism

LA PORTE CITY — Authorities are planning another surge this weekend in the search for an autistic La Porte City teen who last was seen April 7.

Jake Wilson, 16, disappeared after telling family members he was going to nearby Wolf Creek.

“The search is still very much alive, and we still have our optimism that we are going to find him,” Police Chief Chris Brecher said Tuesday. “We are not done by any means. We are going to be back in the water on Saturday and Sunday.”

Efforts intensified last weekend as officials re-launched water and ground searches both along the creek and on the Cedar River.

On Tuesday, those operations continued with handlers and human residue odor detection dogs walking the banks.

New operations will involve trained crews from law enforcement and fire departments and will include bringing in heavy equipment to pull apart larger log jams in the water as well as working the waterways and walking the shores.

Brecher said part of the reason for renewed search with some different means is the changing nature of the creek, river and tributaries as the water levels rise and fall.

“There is so much in there, and so much that’s moving,” Brecher said. “Things get stirred up, and when things get stirred up, we have to go back out and check.”

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He said crews still are checking the creek by kayak and examining fences that were strung across the creek in two places to catch debris that floats down.

Brecher said authorities get one or two tips and suggestions a day to check out.

Jake is about 5-foot-6 and 135 pounds with hazel eyes and dark blonde hair. He was wearing a brown zip-up jacket, dark sweatpants and cowboy boots.

Anyone spotting Jake is asked to call Black Hawk County Dispatch at 291-2515 or local authorities.

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