UPDATE: In a press release issued by the Navajo Police Department, searchers said they have had to temporarily halt the search for a 4-year-old who went missing last Thursday in San Juan County.
Police said the search began on Thursday and search and rescue teams have been searching for three days.
Anndine Jones of Aneth was reported missing but not many details of her disappearance have been released.
The search efforts concentrated near McElmo Creek; a creek near Anndine’s home which flows into the San Juan River. Navajo Police officers and county law enforcement immediately initiated search efforts late into the night on Thursday and resumed early Friday morning.
Through this search and rescue, a concurrent investigation was occurring. There were no indications of an abduction.
An Amber Alert was not activated because, by law, those are only generated in instances of abduction.
Anndine has been listed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) as a missing person.
During the search, boat teams and divers have been searching the creek and volunteers seached by foot all the surrounding areas, including local homes.
Drones were also used along the creek, river and land. Police said all tips received were investigated and assessed by police officers and criminal investigators and over two hundred community volunteers assisted in the foot searches.
The press release further stated a third day of search ended Saturday evening with teams covering the San Juan River riverbank, covering nearly 24 miles of river between Bluff and Aneth, Utah. Ground volunteers covered eight miles of riverbed west of the Aneth Utah chapter house to four miles west of Montezuma Creek, Utah.
Community volunteers will continue organizing search teams, and the Navajo Police Department will remain in the community to investigate any leads generated by the volunteers, said the release.
“We are thankful of the overwhelming amount of support and resources that we received throughout the search. We want to thank our local, state, federal partners, volunteers, and the donations made to help us in covering the terrain in finding this little girl” Chief of Police Phillip Francisco said. “We extend our gratitude and appreciation to the volunteers who covered miles of ground terrain along the creek and riverbed and to the community who donated food and supplies for the volunteers.”
To report additional leads or tips, please contact the Navajo Police Department Shiprock District at 505-368-1350/1351.
SAN JUAN COUNTY (ABC4 News) – Multiple agencies are looking for a missing 4-year-old girl in southeastern Utah.
The Navajo Police Department received a report of a missing child named Anndine Jones.
Navajo police, Montezuma Creek Fire and EMS and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office began searching for the child Thursday afternoon and continued into the night. Searches were conducted on foot, by air, and on the river.
The search resumed Friday morning following a meeting with volunteers and public safety personnel in Aneth. The Navajo Division of Public Safety and state emergency management services have been coordinating the search efforts.
Volunteers are encouraged to help with the search. Volunteers can meet at the Aneth Chapter House. The Aneth Chapter is coordinating tangible donations of water, drink supplements and food.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez issued the following statement, “First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with this precious child and family. We pray for her safety and wellbeing as the search continues. We will continue to offer more updates as this situation proceeds. We ask for your prayers at this time.”
Police announced at 8 p.m. Friday that the search was called off for the night. Crews will continue again Saturday morning. So far, law enforcement and volunteers have focused their efforts primarily along the bank near McElmo Creek.
Police said the girl’s disappearance does not appear to be an abduction.
The Aneth Chapter House is the central location for search briefings and volunteer sign up. Those interested in volunteering their services for Saturday’s effort are asked to meet at the Aneth Chapter at 7:00 a.m. for further information.
*Correction* ABC4 originally reported the child was 3 and her name was Andalyn but has since learned the correct age for Anndine Jones is 4. We apologize for the error.