Chippewa Valley volunteers help with search for missing toddler

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

POLK COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- Volunteers spent Wednesday on the ground in Polk County, covering a stretch of ground near Centuria looking for 2-year-old Isaiah Theis.

Meanwhile back in Eau Claire, Amanda Larson buckled her own daughter in the car on Wednesday, as she got ready to make the journey to Centuria to help with the search.

"I have a 2-year-old so I can't even imagine what those parents are going through," she said.

She says there was nothing holding her back. There are even volunteers stepping up to help those who are searching.

"There's a couple moms on Facebook who opened their home daycares up, free of charge, while you go look, so that's another thing that if someone is willing to watch her while I go look, there's no reason why I shouldn't go," she added.

About four hours after our interview with Amanda, we caught up with her again by phone around 8:00 p.m. She submitted pictures from her cell phone showing long lines of volunteers waiting to get on buses.

She says she is hearing reports that as many as 2,500 people have showed up to help. In fact, she told us she has been waiting in line for the past two hours just to get on one of three shuttle buses.

"It was overwhelming, I'm parked on the grass right now and it's overwhelming how many people are here to help and the line keeps trickling in, it's crazy," she added.

We also caught up with Mandy Pohl from Chippewa Falls. She too made the trek to Centuria on Wednesday to help with the search. She says everything has been very organized and people have come from all areas. And as to why she felt compelled to help, her reason is simple: it is about putting your own self in that situation.

"This is the American way, if this was my child I would want people to come and help me search for my child," she said.

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