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Authorities looking for missing boy near N.P. Dodge Park

Police: 7-year-old may have fallen into nearby Missouri River
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Posted at 8:30 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 10:44:27-04

UPDATE 8/4/2021 6:00 P.M.

The search for a missing 7-year-old boy reached 24 hours on Wednesday evening. Abi Gurung went missing on Tuesday near N.P. Dodge Park.

He was last seen wearing the yellow and red and black shorts in the following pictures, according to his uncle, Bhin Gurung.

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Omaha Police said they were dispatched to the park before 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said the boy was playing around the nearby Missouri River when he went missing.

Lt. Neal Bonacci briefed the press on Wednesday afternoon.

Watch the entire press conference below:

WEB EXTRA: Police provide update on missing 7-year-old

Abi's family says there were some fishermen near the area where Abi had disappeared. OPD doesn't suspect foul play, but they do want their help.

"We are asking them to come forward and offer any information that they have, what they witnessed if they witnessed anything," Bonacci said. "Even just to identify. If they didn't witness anything we would still like to talk to them."

Abi's uncle told 3 News Now that the boy did not know how to swim. The uncle confirmed that he was playing near the water with five other children when he went missing.

Search crews have not ruled anything out, as they are using all of the resources at their disposal.

"We have our helicopter here. Our K9 unit is out here, along with ATVs searching some of the dirt trails around here. A lot of fishermen come down here, a lot of people hike, so we're checking those trails in the area where he was last seen," Bonacci said. "We are hopeful that he just wandered off and we are able to find him."

Parts of the park are closed down to help K9 units pick up the scent of the boy. As of right now OPD is not asking for assistance from the community because it is early on in the process but said at some point they might need the community's help.

Previous updates from 3 News Now:

When Kent Luetzen was on the scene Tuesday morning, there were about 30 family members searching the dense vegetation along the river.

"During the investigation, we found there was a strong possibility that the child fell into the water," said Lt. Shane Myers with the Omaha Police Department.

Myers said the water in the Missouri River is "deceivingly fast," and that creates "great concern."

Myers said there was a large group of family in the area when the boy went missing.

"The river kind of curves in that area and there's also a cove right next to the area where he was in along with a jetty with a bunch of rocks, so it's kind of a contained area. So I believe that's why they were down there because the sand had washed up and it looks fairly calm in the area they were in," Myers said.

Search efforts were suspended late Tuesday with no sign of the boy. Crews are continuing the search on Wednesday morning.

Myers said there was a language barrier with the boy's family but officers were able to communicate enough to get some basic information. Officers were told the boy was wearing a blue or yellow shirt and either blue or red shorts.

Omaha Police deployed their helicopter in an attempt to help find the boy.

Other agencies who have helped in the search include the Omaha Fire Department, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, and the Council Bluffs Fire Department.

RELATED: One year later, family of girl who went missing at Schramm State Park holds out hope she'll be found

Previously, authorities said the boy was six years old. On Wednesday afternoon, police said the boy is seven years old.

Stay with 3 News Now on-air and online for more on this developing story.

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