Relatives of a 7-year-old Portland boy who went missing from his elementary school and hasn't been seen for five days urged those working to find him to carry on the search with optimism.
Twenty-two state, local and federal agencies have been following up on more than 1,200 tips in the search for Kyron Horman, who disappeared from Skyline Elementary School on Friday. Multnomah County sheriff's deputies and volunteers have been searching the densely wooded area near the pastoral school since then.
Kelly Ramirez, the sister of the boy's mother, issued a statement Monday evening thanking everyone who has "worked tirelessly on Kyron's behalf" and asked people to print and distribute fliers with the boy's photo.
"Above all do not give up hope, as we certainly never will," she said. "He is out there and we are going to find him and bring him home safe where he belongs."
Sheriff's deputies and FBI agents posted about 40 yards from the school stopped approaching cars Monday morning and asked passengers whether they were at the school Friday.
Sheriff's Capt. Jason Gates described the variety of tips as "leads that aren't as exciting, and other leads that are more prevalent."
"We need more," he said at a news conference Monday. "Every tip, no matter how insignificant you think it is, could be the one we need."
Speaking again to reporters about four hours later, Gates said authorities have received information from across Oregon and from Washington state. Most of the tips were from within Oregon, he said.
Searchers spent Monday continuing to comb through woods and brush around the school, located in hilly countryside west of downtown Portland.
Authorities also questioned school employees and parents of children who attend the school.
"It's very important we interview every person who was at the school on Friday," Gates said.
Kyron was last seen about 9 a.m. Friday, shortly after the boy and his stepmother attended a science fair at the school. She last saw him walking down a hallway toward his second-grade classroom, wearing a "CSI" T-shirt and dark cargo pants.
A search began after classes let out and Kyron didn't come home on the bus. His stepmother called 911 about 3:45 p.m., and sheriff's deputies and K-9 units began a search of the school and the two-mile route to his home.
Authorities have not yet determined whether Kyron was kidnapped or just wandered off, but they're describing him as a "missing endangered child."
Visitors to the school are assigned badges, but Portland Public School District spokesman Matt Shelby said it would have been difficult to assign a badge to each visitor among the friends and family members who attended the science fair Friday morning.
Authorities were reviewing photos and videos taken at the fair. The last photo of Kyron shows him smiling in front of his project on the red-eyed tree frog.
It was unclear whether Kyron was in class Friday or when anyone noticed he was missing because police have been reluctant to disclose public details of the search.