Authorities in Chatham County, Georgia, wrapped up a fourth day of searching unsuccessfully for missing 20-month-old Quinton Simon, but authorities still hope he will be found alive.
The toddler was reported missing Wednesday morning from his home in an unincorporated part of the county near Savannah, and county police have said no foul play is suspected.
"We’re going to hold out hope that he’s still alive, and that we can find him and bring him home safe to his parents," Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said at a news conference Thursday.
The case has drawn widespread attention and a large law enforcement response.
“We appreciate everyone’s offers of help, but we are not in need of volunteers,” the police department said in a statement.
The search for the child has involved an army of law enforcement and accompanying tools, including drones, helicopters, horses, and tracking dogs, police said. Detectives have worked 20-hour days, Hadley said.
They've so far searched his home, a pond, drainage pipes, dumpsters, nearby woods and other undisclosed locations.
Officials interviewed family members and anyone close to Quinton, and electronically searched the phones of those close to him, Hadley said.
Because abduction could not be ruled out, the FBI has joined the local effort, he said.
On Wednesday, Hadley said, Quinton's mother's boyfriend woke up at 6 a.m. and reported seeing him at that time.
"Mother woke up at some other time later and reported the child missing at 9:39," the chief said.
The boy's biological father, who was not named, "was not near him during the time of his disappearance," Hadley said.
The child's mother and her boyfriend have been working with detectives, Hadley said.
"At this point they’re victims," he said. "They’re dealing with the loss of a child."
No suspects or persons of interest have been named, and there’s no evidence to suggest Quinton didn’t walk off, although exhaustive searches of a geographic area within wandering distance have turned up nothing, police said.