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Searchers search in, along river in Arkansas Boy Scout camp for missing 4-year-old boy
HARDY, Ark. (AP) ' Searchers were holding out hope Monday of finding a 4-year-old boy alive who went missing at a northeastern Arkansas Boy Scouts camp, walking through the woods and along the river near where he was last seen calling out his name, Caleb.
More than 150 people turned out Monday to search the Kia Kima Boy Scout Camp for Caleb Linn, who was last seen Saturday on a bridge where he and several other children were clearing away storm debris, Fulton County Sheriff Buck Foley said.
The children, who were not affiliated with the Boy Scouts, were staying in cabins with Caleb's aunt, a parks department worker who was watching the grounds while its owner was away, said Foley, who declined to release the aunt's name. He said she last saw her nephew on the edge of bridge.
"The way the water's running, you wouldn't hear a splash," Foley said.
Shortly before Caleb was last spotted, some of the children on the bridge took off up the hill toward the main campsite, and investigators think Caleb may have tried to follow them.
"I think he just wandered off," said Foley. Investigators don't suspect foul play.
Authorities are proceeding as if Caleb is alive, and the dry weather and moderate temperatures since Saturday gave hope searchers, who could be heard in the woods calling out "Caleb!" then waiting for a reply.
Searchers in boats were checking the clear but fast-moving tributary of the Spring River that passes beneath the bridge where Caleb was last seen. And four divers were busy Monday clearing debris from beneath the bridge and snapping underwater photographs in search of clues.
Authorities set a net downstream that could catch a body if the boy did fall into the river, where water temperatures were in the 60s. But it's possible the body could have passed that point before the net was put up, said Major Todd Smith, the assistant chief of enforcement for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
"It's like looking for a needle in the haystack," Smith said. "There's no way to search the whole river."
Caleb's mother and stepfather, who live 150 miles west of Hardy in Springdale, were at the camp Monday. A couple at a cabin with a stroller and overturned tricycle out front said they were Caleb's parents but that they didn't want to talk.
"We don't want to do any kind of interviews," the man said.
Associated Press writer Allen Reed in Little Rock contributed to this report.