Cases of missing children are always more fraught than those of missing adults, but missing child cases can be even further compounded when missing children have neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. This requires a specialized approach in the missing person investigation that can present particular challenges, like the ones investigators have faced in searching for Ryan Larsen, 12. It’s been over 125 days since Ryan disappeared from his school last May, and investigators are still stymied on what exactly happened in the moments before his disappearance.
Ryan Larsen walked away from La Vista West Elementary school in La Vista, Nebraska on May 17, 2021. Following the report of his disappearance, police launched a comprehensive search of land, air, and water in the nearby areas only to come up with nothing. Unfortunately, investigators were staring down a long tunnel with no answers. In a press conference nearly a month ago, La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten said “After the initial period of searching by land, by air, and the water, things went a little bit stagnant.”
Just like any missing person case, the Ryan Larsen case has been subject to a barrage of self-proclaimed psychics who claim they know what happened to Ryan, but none of the tips investigators have received have panned out. When Ryan’s umbrella was found by a dumpster near his family’s home, landfill assessment experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in pursuit of the theory that Ryan might have accidentally fallen in the dumpster and had ended up in the landfill. Lausten also told the media, “They did an analysis and the possibility of that would be very minute, the lowest probability on the scale of that happening. So there’s no evidence we had that it actually happened, but we wanted to rule out even those remote possibilities.”
In hopes of better preparing the La Vista Police Department to better handle cases such as Ryan’s, they have launched a new community program called “Take Me Home.” The program will allow members of the community to help law enforcement with information on their children with special needs, or vulnerable adults. “Getting information about special needs kids, people or vulnerable adults and have that in a database so if we do get a call, for example of an Alzheimer’s patient that walks away from their house, the information we will have already is what places they frequent if they have done this before, where were they found before,” explained Lausten. “So when we’re en route to the call, officers can get into areas quickly and we can get the search going.”
This kind of program has the ability to accelerate the processes behind missing person investigations and benefit future missing persons. Future emergencies can be more quickly resolved and increase the chances of a vulnerable missing person being found.
Ryan Larsen is described as white, 5’8” tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes. At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, an Old Navy Shirt, and was carrying a polka dot umbrella. If you see Ryan, authorities say not to call his name; instead, keep your distance and call 911. Anyone with information about his location should call Sarpy County Crimestoppers at 402-592-STOP (7867); or call 911. LVPD is also urging the public to use its See It, Say It, Send It app to submit tips, but to also “be mindful of unsubstantiated rumors circulating on this case.”
When a person goes missing, the onset of the investigation is already overwhelming for the family and loved ones of that missing person. Investigators who take the initial report need a cornucopia of information in order to get an idea of their schedule, their habits, and who they were close to in their lives. From there, investigators develop a plan for search and recovery of that missing person. One of the only things that could exacerbate these circumstances further is when a loved one goes missing abroad. International missing person investigations already require the cooperation of several entities that could be easily tied up in red tape. The apprehension associated with a strange country where you don’t speak the language and are not familiar with their legal system further compounds the panic that sets in when a loved one goes missing abroad. That’s why loved ones need to consult an international missing person investigator to ensure that no stone goes unturned.
Missing person investigations are inherently a tricky business. Though there are certainly observable patterns in missing person victimology, every case is different, and each case demands a unique approach. While a missing person report and investigation must be initiated with law enforcement, many families of missing persons will tell you that their local police or sheriff department was ill-equipped to handle the disappearance of their loved one. This could be due to a lack of labor, resources, or an overwhelming caseload for investigators. Regardless of the source of the issue, all roads lead to lost time in a missing person investigation. All missing person investigators will tell you that the first 48-72 hours of any missing person investigation are the most crucial, because that is the window of time when relevant witnesses and evidence are still fresh. Unfortunately, in the case of international missing person cases, the time in which it could take to properly facilitate the launch of a missing person investigation, these important leads could be lost. International investigations come with unique quirks depending on the country, but with regards to Americans who go missing abroad, families can expect to encounter problems with language barriers, lack of knowledge about the law enforcement systems in place, and general confusion when it comes to navigating the investigation.
One such case where an international missing person investigation faced similar issues was the case of Travis Sackett. Lauth Investigations International recently joined the search for the missing Batavia, New York man who went missing while travelling abroad in Ecuador back in February 2021. On the day of his disappearance, Travis was reportedly on his way to hike the nearby Imbabura Volcano. When he did not report to work the next morning on the farm where he had been working and living, his host reported him missing. In the initial stages of the investigation, searches for Travis by local law enforcement were very spaced out due to poor weather conditions, and valuable time was lost in the onset. Despite the crucial direction of local guides and the dedication of independent investigators, there have still been no answers in the search for Travis.
An international missing person investigator can run a concurrent investigation with local law enforcement into the disappearance of an American who goes missing overseas. While local law enforcement runs their protocol in missing person investigations, an independent investigator can turn over proverbial stones that law enforcement lacks the time or resources to investigate. If your family is struggling with a loved one who’s gone missing abroad, please reach out to Lauth Investigations International for a free consultation on how our missing person investigators can help you find answers.
Eleven year-old Xavior Harrelson has been missing for over a week since he disappeared from his Montezuma, Iowa mobile home park on May 27, 2021. He was last seen around 11 a.m. wearing a red t-shirt, blue pajama pants, and black high-top shoes. He has brown hair, blue eyes, and stands 4’8” tall.
According to Xavior’s mother, the boy left the mobile home—she reportedly assumed—to play with friends. The mobile home park itself is very close to a nearby park. Diamond Lake County Park spans more than 660 acres of wooded land and includes over 100 campsites for tourists and locals. In the days since Xavior disappeared, the Poweshiek Coutny Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation have deployed resources to comb the area surrounding the mobile home park, including scent-dogs, ATVs, drones, a dive team, and temperature-sensitive technology. Finding no sign of Xavior, investigators are continuing to develop new leads in the case. Mitch Mortvedt, the assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement, “All we really know for sure right now is that Xavior was reported missing on Thursday and we know what he was possibly wearing when he left the house. Other than that, we don’t know anything for sure.”
The circumstances of Xavior’s disappearance are nebulous, with investigators unsure of whether he got lost while playing with his friends, or if he was taken under more nefarious circumstances. Despite searching within a half-mile radius of the boy’s home, investigators have yet to uncover a trace of what may have happened to Xavior. “It’s certainly suspicious that he seems to have just disappeared and no one has seen him, “Mortvedt said, “but there is no evidence that is definitively pushing the needle one way or another. There is nothing to indicate that his disappearance was criminal, though we are certainly looking at that angle.”
It was Xavior’s family friend who first reported the boy as missing when she did not see him out riding his bike on Thursday morning. It is highly unusual for a neighbor to report a young child like Xavior missing before the parents, but Samantha Rix told KCCI8 in Des Moines that she felt compelled to speak for the little boy, “The other thing I can’t really wrap my head around is why isn’t anybody in the family gone on here? And so that’s why I’m Xavior’s voice. And that’s how I feel. And that’s why I keep doing this, because somebody has to speak for him.”
In excess of 500 volunteers, first-responders, and investigators have dedicated time towards searching for Xavior. It’s the second time the community has had to step up for a missing citizen in only a few short years. Around the same time almost three years ago, the community was searching for 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, who disappeared while on a jog. “To be right back here, you know, working out of the sheriff’s office and in the same communities as we were three—almost three years ago—when Mollie disappeared, it’s frightening.”
If you have any information on the disappearance of Xavior Harrelson, you’re asked to call the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 641-623-2107.
Authorities are still searching for leads in the case of a missing Texas State University student who disappeared last December. Jason Landry, 21, was leaving TSU’s San Marcos campus on December 13, 2020 to drive home to visit his family for the holidays. He never arrived at his family’s home in Missouri City, and the family has been wracked with worry ever since.
The effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic are already more than enough to exacerbate the disappearance of a loved one, but Jason Landry’s family has the additional anxiety of disappearance under dangerous circumstances. Following the report of his disappearance, the missing Texas State University student’s car was found on a gravel road near Luling, Texas, totaled and abandoned. Even more distressing, Jason’s personal items, including his phone, wallets, and keys were found inside the abandoned vehicle. Law enforcement have told media outlets that they believe Jason made a wrong turn as a result of a malfunctioning GPS system and found himself swerving off the roadway in a remote area. “It’s a call that every parent fears. It’s our worst nightmare. To know that our son is out there hurting and we can’t fix it. But not knowing where he is or if he’s okay—it’s confusing and heartbreaking.” Jason’s father, Kent Landry, told Dateline.
Following the report of his disappearance, authorities conducted an initial search of the area for the missing Texas State University student. Roughly 900 feet from the site of the abandoned vehicle, authorities also found clothing items they believe Jason was wearing at the time of his disappearance. The search included the assistance of cadaver dogs, ground and water search teams, and involved the search of an abandoned home near the crash site, but were unable to develop leads regarding Jason’s whereabouts. Texas Search and Rescue responded to the request from the Caldwell Count Sheriff’s Office to assist in the search. Another search was launched only a few days ago, led by volunteers who are concerned for the missing Texas State University student.
Anyone with information about Landry’s whereabouts is urged to call 911 or the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 512-398-6777, or email Detective Jeff Ferry at email@example.com.
Since the disappearance of her two children over a year ago, the nation has been following the updates on “Mommy Doomsday” subject Lori Vallow Daybell. The Vallow Daybell saga has been a rollercoaster punctuated by death and tragedy that is now going to be the subject of a new true-crime podcast by Dateline. It’s the story of doomsday rhetoric, fanaticism, and murder.
People first heard the name Lori Daybell back in 2019 when her children Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, were finally reported missing. The children had not been seen for weeks since Vallow elected to pull them out of public school, citing the family’s alleged move to a different state. After her children were reported missing, Vallow and her new husband, Chad Daybell, fell off the grid for weeks. Law enforcement finally tracked the couple down in Hawaii, with no sign of the children. Despite repeated assertions that the children were alive and well, Vallow was finally served with a court order to produce the children in January of 2020. The deadline came and went without any sign of the children and Vallow and Daybell were arrested.
In a heartbreaking development in the case, the remains of J.J. and Tylee were finally located in June of 2020 on Chad Daybell’s Idaho property after a search warrant was executed. “It’s not the outcome we had hoped; to be able to find the children safe. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of J.J. and Tylee,” the Rexburg Police Department stated in a press release.
The tragic deaths of the children are not the only factor in the case against Vallow and Daybell. Vallow’s late husband, Chuck Vallow, was killed in a domestic dispute between himself and Lori Vallow’s Brother Alex Cox, in which Cox claimed self-defense. Cox died in December of natural causes.
The events of the Vallow Daybell case were triggered in the fall of 2019 when Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell were not yet married. Chad Daybell was still married to his late wife, Tammy Daybell, who died only two weeks before Lori Daybell’s children disappeared. Chad Daybell described his wife’s affliction as “a bad cough,” subsequently passing in her sleep. This came as a shock to many who knew Tammy, knowing her to be a healthy individual who was training to run a marathon. Tammy Daybell was buried without an autopsy, and following the discovery of Lori Vallow’s children, investigators reopened the investigation into her death. While Vallow and Daybell await trial on charges related to the deaths of Tylee and J.J., investigators exhumed Tammy Daybell’s body to perform an autopsy. While the autopsy has been completed, the results still remain under seal as prosecutors continue to build a case.
Have you seen missing mother, Crystal Marie Fry? For months, her family has been searching for answers following Crystal’s disappearance amid distressing circumstances in her personal life. After 90 days with no case progression, the family has turned to the missing person investigators at Lauth Investigations International to join the search for Crystal.
Crystal Marie Fry, 31, was last heard from on November 11, 2020. At the time of her disappearance, Crystal was living in Baltimore, MD with her boyfriend, the father of her two youngest daughters. On November 11, Crystal contacted her mother, Teresa Silverman, to explain some of the details of what she called the “worst three days of her life.” Crystal claimed someone had kicked in her front door, damaging it in the process, so she would be staying with the father of her oldest daughter until it could be fixed. It was during this time that Crystal reportedly claimed to be “afraid for her life.” The following day when she was expected to turn up to her mother’s home to explain more about the break-in, Crystal never showed up.
When she spoke to Lauth investigators, Teresa described her daughter as a beautiful mother who was always stepping up to help out, “She’s caring. If anything’s wrong, she steps right in and tries to help take care of people. She loves her girls to death.” Teresa advised Lauth Investigators that Crystal would never have gone this long without contacting her children, claiming that holidays and special occasions were very important to her. Crystal also shared passions for baking and cooking with her girls, who have been missing their mother for over three months.
The last person she was known to have contact with was the father of her oldest daughter, when she told him she got a flat tire on the way to his residence. In the weeks following their last communication, Teresa Silverman hit the streets, trying to find the location of her daughter’s last residence when she didn’t respond to messages. After days of searching, they were finally able to locate the townhouse where she had been staying in Baltimore where her car was parked out front—one of the tires still flat.
Since she reported her daughter missing, Teresa says her perception of law enforcement’s efforts to investigate Crystal’s case have been beyond disappointing, reporting difficulties getting updates on the case and a general feeling of apathy from police. Now she has contracted Lauth Investigations International to conduct an independent investigation concurrent with law enforcement to ensure that no lead is unexplored in her daughter’s disappearance. “The circumstances under which Crystal went missing are troubling, and our team is exploring multiple leads in her disappearance,” said lead investigator, Thomas Lauth. Lauth has over 30 years of experience investigating missing person cases of all types and is considered one of the country’s foremost experts in missing persons.
Crystal Marie Fry is 31 years old, is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weights approximately 135lbs and, has blue eyes and brown hair. You can donate to the GoFundMe for the independent investigation here.
Anyone with information please contact the Baltimore Police Department at 410-396-2221 or call 911.