Third day of searching underway for boy named in Amber Alert
On Friday, the authorities and volunteers will continue to search for 9-year-old Gino van der Straeten, who went missing in Kerkrade on Wednesday evening. A step scooter that resembles one owned by the boy was found in Landgraaf, not far from Kerkrade, on Thursday.
The police issued an Amber Alert for Gino on Thursday, a measure only taken when the police believe a missing child's life is in acute danger. In less threatening situations, the police use a Missing Child Alert.
Gino, from Maastricht, was staying with his sister in Kerkrade when he disappeared. He was last seen at a playground on Hertogenlaan and Zonstraat between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. His family fears the worst. "We think he was taken," said one of his sisters, 21-year-old Naomi, in an interview 1Limburg. "He's never run away before. I don't see it as running away because he was playing with some other boys."
According to the police, witnesses saw three children and a man playing football at the playground around the time of Gino's disappearance. Investigators already spoke to the kids and called on the man to come forward.
Groups of volunteers have been searching the area for Gino since he failed to return to his sister's home on Wednesday evening. The police also deployed helicopters and drones to help in the search. On Thursday night, a German team of specialists also came to help look for the boy.