Video: Inside the search
updated 6/20/2005 2:31:21 PM ET 2005-06-20T18:31:21

As the search for missing 11-year-old Brennan Hawkins entered its third day on Monday, MSNBC's Amy Robach talked with Bob O'Brien of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about the area in which Hawkins disappeared and what parents can do to keep their kids safe.

The search, taking place over a six-square mile area of the High Uintas mountains, which are approximately 80 miles east of Salt Lake City, includes thousands of volunteers. The disappearance of Hawkins comes less than a year after authorities searched an area 15 miles from the current search site for 12-year-old Garrett Bardsley, who was never found.

O'Brien, a former FBI agent, said that despite the fact that it may sound unusual for two children to disappear from one area inside of one year, the terrain and popularity of the region do not make it surprising.

"Not with the (number) of people that visit," O'Brien said. "It's an incredibly challenging area for campers for hiking and climbing and so forth but it's a beautiful area.  Thousands and thousands of people come there in a short period of time where the area is accessible for recreation.  So it's not uncommon that you'd have two young boys missing like that."

O'Brien noted that it is important for parents to make sure their children are prepared before spending time in the wilderness. But noted that even though Hawkins had plenty of experience in the outdoors, having children use the buddy system is the best solution.

"One of the most important things is to have a partner, have a friend nearby," he said. "But he was in the midst of 1,200 youngsters, of the same age or a little older and so forth, but it wasn't like he was out by himself or something.  He was in a safe environment in terms of the environment itself, in terms of how easy it could be to get lost up there."

To watch the complete interview between Robach and O'Brien, click on the video link above.MSNBC Live with Amy Robach and Randy Meier can be seen weekdays from 9 a.m.-Noon.

© 2013 Reprints


Discussion comments