HARVEY COUNTY, Kan. — A private investigator has said authorities believe they have found the body of Lucas Hernandez, the 5-year-old Wichita boy missing since February, KWCH reports.
Investigators have been searching an area in the 9700 block of South Woodlawn Road, in Harvey County, Kan., about 20 minutes or so north of Wichita.
KWCH reported that a heavy police presence is on scene and has the area blocked off. The sheriff said investigators could not yet identify the body, but Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay said in a news conference that the body of a small child was found under a bridge in the area.
Gay said the body “looks like it has been here for awhile.”
Investigators have confirmed the heavy police presence is connected to the search for Lucas Hernandez.
A private investigator with the boy’s family told KWCH the body is Hernandez, who has been missing since February.
A group gathered for a vigil Thursday evening outside the Wichita home where Lucas lived.
In April, new details came to light in the case, that Hernandez was frequently seen with bruises and cuts — and once with black eyes — according to a court document filed in a juvenile case involving a 1-year-old girl he lived with in the year before he disappeared.
The Sedgwick County juvenile court document indicates the state of Kansas was told at least twice that Lucas Hernandez was being abused and details a dysfunctional and violent family life for the boy, The Wichita Eagle reported .
Lucas’ stepmother, Emily Glass, was jailed on child endangerment charges involving her daughter, who has been placed in state custody. Glass hasn’t been charged in Lucas’ disappearance.
FOX4 will continue to monitor this story and provide updates as information is available.