Law Enforcement, Volunteers Continue Search For Missing 4-Year-Old in McIntosh County
News 6 - April 12, 2022 7:23 pm
Storms could impact the search for a missing four-year-old boy in McIntosh County Tuesday night.
Law enforcement and search crews have been working around the clock since Zaiven Houke went missing Monday. Zaiven’s mother is asking the community to be vigilant and not give up. In a statement, she also thanked everyone for their help and prayers.
Just west of Checotah in a community called Emerald Bay, law enforcement, search crews, city workers, and the Red Cross are all working desperately to find Zaiven Houke. The four-year-old is autistic and non-verbal. He was last seen Monday in a blue and white diaper.
His mom, Brittany Hatcher, said in part in a statement, “My son is deeply missed and loved and all we want is for him to be home.”
Firefighters drained a one-acre pond at the family’s home Monday night but did not find anything.
“We have searched on the ground, we have searched by boat, we have searched the lake, the ponds, we’ve had OHP and their helicopters come in,” McIntosh County Emergency Management Director Susan Whittle said.
Help also came on four legs, from a volunteer group of about eight people on horseback. The group said OHP requested their help. The group came from Council Hill and were at the scene until the middle of the night Monday, and came back Tuesday.
“I think about it as if it’s my kid. So we’re here to help any way we can and find this little boy. So my heart goes out to the family. So we hope we can do some good,” volunteer Rocky Webb said.
The Sequoyah County Search and Rescue mounted patrol team also came to help with the search, from Sallisaw. An ambulance showed up at the scene Tuesday, and investigators said an officer was hurt after flipping his 4 wheeler, but would not confirm which agency he was from. The officer is expected to be OK.
The search continues for Zaiven. Investigators said their search area involves a 10-mile radius around the boy’s home.
“They just want to find him. That’s all they want is to be able to find him. And we’re all praying that we find him in good shape,” Whittle said.
If you see Zaiven or know where he is, call 911.
“Given the circumstances, all I ask is for everyone to be vigilant and to please not give up. My son is deeply missed and loved and all we want is for him to be home. I want to thank the community, all the law enforcement, those who have come out to search, and all that have been praying. You are all very much appreciated,” said Zaiven’s mother Brittany Hatcher.