19 Aug 2010

Concern mounts for missing 4-year-old

10:51 pm on 19 August 2010

Police in Gisborne say they are becoming increasingly concerned for the well-being of a four-year-old boy missing since Tuesday.

Lucas Ward disappeared from the backyard of his grandmother's home in Graham Road in the northern suburb of Kaiti about 3pm.

Inspector Sam Aberahama says teams of police and volunteers have searched properties and drains in the area.

Eight police divers have searched the Waimata River near the grandmother's house.

Mr Aberahama says at this stage, there is no indication of foul play and police have not given up hope of ing the boy.

Police believe Lucas may have been injured or got trapped somewhere. They are appealing again to members of the public to search all sheds, boats and caravans on their properties.

Jessica Ward, the boy's mother, says Lucas is a very confident and friendly child who wants to visit people even if he does not know them, and is prone to wandering off.

She says Lucas is a curious boy and is appealing to people in Kaiti to thoroughly search areas they think a child may like to hide.

Officers continued to visit properties in the vicinity of Graham Road on Thursday. Many shops in the suburb have a photo of the missing boy in their windows.

Lucas Ward is described as Pakeha, with blonde hair and, when last seen, was barefoot and wearing a light blue sweatshirt and dark-coloured trackpants.