LOWELL — A massive search for a missing 3-year-old boy in Lowell’s Pawtucketville neighborhood continued late into Tuesday night, police said.
The State Police Air Wing and dive team were deployed, along with drones, K-9 units, and police on mountain bikes, horses, and ATVs to look for a little boy named Harry who went missing from his babysitter’s home on Freda Lane Tuesday morning.
Interim Lowell Police Superintendent Barry Golner said the child was dropped off at the babysitter’s house at 37 Freda Lane shortly after 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. A neighbor saw the boy in the backyard of 37 Freda Lane at about 9:15 a.m., and he was reported missing to police about 15 minutes later, Golner said.
Officers responded and began an immediate search of the home and surrounding area, and that search expanded when the boy could not be found.
Golner said there is no indication that foul play was involved in the boy’s disappearance.
Golner said there were between 150 and 180 law enforcement and fire personnel involved in the search Tuesday afternoon. They had looked in nearby backyards and swimming pools and would continue to comb the area for any sign of the boy.
“It is an ongoing, active continuous search,” Golner told reporters at an afternoon press conference.
The Lowell Police Department posted photos of the boy on social media and asked for the public’s help in locating him. Police said he was last seen wearing gray pants with a white stripe and a long-sleeve maroon shirt.
Lowell police used the reverse 911 system to notify residents in the area, and authorities are asking anyone who has seen Harry or has information on his whereabouts to contact police by calling 911 or the Lowell Police Department at 978-937-3200.
On Freda Lane, which is bordered by a Christmas tree farm and a wooded area, local police and state troopers continued arriving into the evening, while cruisers and firetrucks lined the road along its intersection with Varnum Avenue.
The Salvation Army handed out water and pizza to searchers, as one officer jotted down the license number of each vehicle that turned onto Freda Lane and explained the police presence to curious drivers.
Vincent Myles said police came to his nearby home around 11:30 a.m. to check inside the house and in the backyard for the missing boy. He said he did not know the child’s family.
“I … just hope like hell they find him because he’s been missing for a while now,” Myles said as dusk approached.
Meg Toohey, another neighbor, said she had taken her dog on about a half-dozen walks Tuesday looking for the boy.
“I’m sure he’s probably scared,” she said. “I just hope they find him safe.”
Toohey heard about the missing boy in a Facebook post from Lowell police, she said. Police did not come into her condo but have searched the yard and surrounding homes, she said.
Sudbury Police Chief Scott Nix of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council said earlier that personnel were rechecking areas that had already been searched.
“We appreciate their efforts, and we’re hoping for a positive outcome,” Nix said at the press conference.
Nix asked residents in the area to look “very, very thoroughly” through their vehicles, homes, and sheds, just in case the boy wandered off into one of those locations.
Several agencies were involved in the search, including the State Police, Lowell Fire Department, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Department, Massachusetts Environmental Police, Andover Fire Department, Dracut police, Tyngsborough police, UMass Lowell police, and the regional response team and mobile command unit from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, officials said.
State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said the State Police dive team was mobilized to search some wetlands near the home.
Globe correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report.
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