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Police say DNA on umbrella could place missing boy near home

June 29, 2021 GMT

LA VISTA, Neb. (AP) — DNA found on an umbrella could place the last known whereabouts of an autistic boy missing for six weeks near his home in eastern Nebraska, police in La Vista said.

The DNA of Ryan Larsen has been confirmed on an umbrella the boy had carried May 17, the day he disappeared, Police Chief Bob Lausten said. The umbrella was found on the grounds of the La Vista apartments where Ryan lives and turned over to police three or four days after his disappearance.

Ryan, who has autism and suffers from epileptic seizures, has been missing since walking out of his elementary school during classes around noon on May 17. He was 11 years old at the time of his disappearance, but his 12th birthday was June 8.

Authorities have said Ryan has been without the medication he takes for seizures since he disappeared.

Police believe the last sighting of the boy came about 90 minutes after he left school, when a surveillance video appeared to show him heading in the direction of his home.

Police, sheriff’s deputies, FBI agents and others have been looking for the boy. They previously drained a lake and combed through the Walnut Creek Recreation Area during the search.

Ryan is white, with brown hair and hazel eyes . He is 5-foot-8 and weighs around 125 lbs.