Local, regional, state and federal agencies continued the search for 3-year-old Christopher Ramirez in the Plantersville area of Grimes County on Thursday, one day after he went missing.
Ramirez was reported missing at 1:52 p.m. Wednesday, according to Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell. According to the Endangered Missing Child Advisory issued by the Amber Alert Network Brazos Valley, he was last seen at his house in the 10000 block drive of Deer Park Lane in the Foxfire subdivision in Plantersville, wearing a bright green shirt, unknown color shorts and red Mickey Mouse shoes.
Sowell said he did not have any more information Thursday afternoon than he did Wednesday evening.
“Right now we’re exhausting every effort, and we’re fixing to go through again with another walking grid search of people just almost arm to arm, going through everything, which is some thick woods,” Sowell said Thursday afternoon, 25 hours after Ramirez was reported missing.
He said it is strange because even with all the coverage through traditional media and social media, they have not received any tips from anyone who has seen or heard anything or reported anything suspicious.
“It doesn’t make sense how a 3-year-old can be lost that quick,” Sowell said. “I fear that it’s not going to turn out good, but I’m hoping for the best.”
As of Thursday afternoon, he said, there was “no factual reason” to believe Ramirez had been abducted or to suspect foul play. Two registered sex offenders in the area were checked Wednesday.
Searches have been conducted from the air with drones and helicopters, on the ground with citizen volunteers and law enforcement officers and firefighters, Texas EquuSearch, Texas Department of Criminal Justice canines and in small bodies of water with dive teams.
On Thursday, Sowell said, they were draining a tank or small pond “about three football field lengths” away from the home where Ramirez was last seen.
“I’m not saying he’s in there. I don’t know. I don’t know. I hope not,” he said when discussing the tank.
Involved in the search are local and regional law enforcement agencies and fire departments, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI.
Sowell said the boy’s mom, Araceli Nunez, sells drinks and food out of a cooler on the side of the road and was unloading the cooler after getting home when Ramirez chased after a dog he knew. During a press conference Thursday, Nunez confirmed it was their dog he was chasing.
“They were unloading for a couple minutes,” Sowell said. “They went looking for him. After a few minutes, the dog came back but he didn’t.”
Sgt. Martha Smith with the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office translated for Nunez, saying a neighbor saw Ramirez run after the dog, and Nunez ran in the direction the neighbor identified, yelling her son’s name. He did not answer. Sowell said during the press conference that it was about 20 minutes between when the family began searching and the sheriff’s office was called.
During Thursday’s press conference, Sowell said everyone in the neighborhood, which is mostly comprised of five-acre tracts of land, have been cooperating.
Sowell added that while he appreciates the public’s willingness to help, for the time being, he asks people not to go to the area and volunteer but rather let the search continue with their organized team. If more volunteers are needed, he said, they will put out a request.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office at 936-873-2151.