Mother of 5-year-old boy swept away in California floods asks officials to search for his body
A California A mother is asking state officials to continue searching for her five-year-old son, who was swept away by flooding last month, because she fears they have given up on the search.
Lindsay Doan and her husband, Brian, combed the banks of the Salina River with their own shovels and tried to use their pets as sniffer dogs in the hunt for their son, Kyle.
When Kyle was first swept away during severe flooding and storms in January, the California National Guard used a legion of resources — including helicopters, drones, dive teams, sonar and cadaver dogs — to find him, and Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “We’re going to win.” don’t give up until we find Kyle.’
But the Doanes fear that the promise was empty, as government resources receded from the search and the family was left to arrange it on their own.
Over the past three weekends, the family has used resources from a GoFundMe page to pay for backhoes, lunches and fuel for volunteers who joined them in the search, but they fear that without the return of government aid, the search will be in vain.
Lindsay Doan and five-year-old Kyle. Last month, the boy was swept away by a flood
Kyle Doan died in a flash flood on his way to kindergarten on January 9
At least 21 people died in the devastating floods that hit California in January. Since Kyle has not been found, he is still officially listed as missing and unlisted, and Lindsay holds out a vague hope that he is somehow still alive.
On Jan. 9, she was driving the boy to school when she tried to drive her SUV through what appeared to be a manageable path of water that flooded across the two-lane country road.
As soon as it entered the water, the car began to fill with water and drifted into the San Marcos Creek. Lindsey was able to get out of the car and grab onto a tree, but as she pulled Kyle to safety, they lost their grip on each other and were swept away.
She tried to swim after him, but bystanders who saw her struggling in the water pulled her to safety before she got lost herself.
Since that day, only one of his shoes – a Nike with a yellow tick – has been found on Kyle, and she hoped to see the other during her search.
After Kyle was first lost, Governor Newsom said, “Hopefully, by miracle, he’ll be OK,” and even President Joe Biden expressed support for the search.
But the Doans said those promises had not been fulfilled in recent weeks and that authorities had begun to slow down.
“We really feel like Kyle is now being viewed as undecided,” Brian said Mercury News. “They don’t come anymore. They don’t seem to want to return our calls and texts so quickly.”
“These were excuses. “We are waiting for the weather to warm up. The water should recede more. It’s too cold for the dogs to go out.’ I will understand. You’re tired,” Lindsay wrote in a recent letter pleading for help to Newsome. – But I’ll ask again. If it was your child, would you refuse?’
Lindsey and Brian Doan themselves organized the search for their son
A search team combs the waterways for missing Kyle Doan. His family said official efforts had weakened
California Governor Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden said they will not rest until Kyle’s body is found. His family fears that these were empty promises
Meanwhile, the Doanes devoted themselves to finding Kyle on their own.
With the help of their 18-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter, they scrape the surface of the riverbeds in the hope that Kyle can get out from under the thin layer of silt.
“We tried to get it as deep on the ground as possible, just in case we hit something, because obviously I don’t want to hurt him or damage his body,” Lindsey told the Mercury News. “We’re basically scraping off sand and dirt.”
They bought a chainsaw to cut through the debris, shoes, kayaks and did their best to organize a few volunteers who came to help them in their search.
The ongoing rains have also complicated the search, preventing volunteers from joining and further flooding the rivers, making them dangerous to search for.
The governor’s Office of Emergency Management said last week that the “full weight” remains on the search and canceled the permitting process normally required to operate excavators on riverbanks, the Mercury News reported.
Despite those assurances from officials, Lindsey said she was especially disappointed in their efforts when an official with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department told her the search might be futile because Kyle “could very well be in Monterey Bay “.
LINDSAY DOANE’S PRAYER FOR HELP
Dear Sheriff Ian Parkinson, Governor Newsom and State Representatives!
In five days we will reach the 7 week mark. 7 weeks of sleepless nights, 7 weeks of anxiety, 7 weeks without our rainbow baby, 7 weeks frozen in time. We’ve searched every weekend since Kyle went missing, we’ve done spot searches when we wanted to take a closer look at certain areas during the week, and we’ve spent time researching, planning the search, reaching out to possible community and non-profit organizations that can support our search. We followed all the rules that were brought to us. We have been patient and understanding, but we can’t stop asking the same question. Where is the Sheriff’s team? In our minds, it turns into a cold case. Sheriff’s efforts have been consistent up until the 4-week mark in terms of boots on the ground. Many agencies came, checked some relevant areas and then disappeared. Since then, these are excuses… We are waiting for it to warm up. The water should recede more. The dogs are too cold. I will understand. You are tired, but I ask again. If it was your child, if you would give it up?
I’m sure you’re tired of my letters, but my family is tired of the excuses. We are tired of your “ATV rides” to check the conditions. We can’t understand helicopter flights if we’re sure Kyle can’t be seen from the sky. Probably, if that was the case, he would have been found by now. We’re tired of the sheriff’s team making it look like they’re doing something, when in reality a lot of it seems like a superficial job to “look” like something is being done. Our messages are ignored. It takes days for someone to return our texts. There were fewer phone calls. Meetings seem to be the norm.
We requested a map to eliminate search areas. At first it looked like it would be published, but then we got rejected by what we learned was a decision from above that didn’t help us in our quest. As untrained civilians with limited resources, we are making assumptions right now with a phenomenal community that has risen up to support us, but where is the Office of Emergency Services and the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department?
I will tell you where they are not. They are NOT looking for our boy. Instead, they’re releasing public statements like “At this incredibly difficult time, all state and local governments are supporting the collective efforts to find Kyle, and we’re committed to supporting the family and community” in media outlets like The Paso Robles Press, but definitely not with us in search of Kyle.
We are asking you. You are professionals with experience and resources. Do something. We are not able to do it on our own. We can’t wait months for you to do something. We vote for you as elected officials. I won’t lie. I HATE politics, but one thing I know is compassion. I became a teacher to help students, protect their rights and support them to become positive active citizens in our communities. Your job is to protect and support community members. Kyle is missing. Please step up your words and take action. We need you on the ground, physically searching, not waiting for the water to recede even more when most of the land is already dry. At a press conference, Governor Newsom said, “We will not stop searching until he is found.” Make that promise a reality. Find him and bring Kyle home.
Thank you for your time,