Crime Trackers

Sep 11, 2012 9:08 PM by Lupita Murillo

Community comes together to locate missing 10-year-old boy

TUCSON - Pima County Sheriff's officials say it was the news broadcasts that neighbors saw this morning that led them to find 10-year-old Larry Avila. Also, mobilizing all their resources as quickly as they did brought a happy reunion.

Sgt. Gerard Moretz heads the Crimes Against Children unit. He says, "Last night we had resources on hand to deal with the possibility of a water rescue, locating a lost child, and our computer forensics team."

There were nearly 70 Sheriffs Department personnel, plus Border Patrol's BORSTAR rescue unit.

Detectives tracked down bus drivers and children who rode the bus with Larry Avila. "By the end of the night we were convinced he didn't get on the bus," Sgt. Moretz said.

Detectives shifted gears and continued talking to school officials. Meanwhile, patrol units and BORSTAR searched the desert, and surrounding areas.

As law enforcement searched for the little boy, officers and the community were thinking of missing 7-year-old Isabel Celis. "The Celis case is certainly one we have paid attention to whenever something of that scale occurs we try to look at our own approach and our procedure," Sgt. Moretz said.

Sgt. Moretz said they learned from that investigation to bring all the resources together and share information as quickly as possible. He also said, "Now there's an opportunity to sit down between parents and children and really talk about safety issues. At the sheriff's department we encourage for parents to be responsible and know where their kids are."

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