Search for missing LaPorte City teen enters second week

By  | 

LAPORTE CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The search Jake Wilson has now entered its second week. Family say Wilson, who lives with autism, walked down to a creek near his La Porte City home on Saturday, April 7. He never returned.

Hundreds of people searched for days last week for Wilson. Then, dive and rescue teams took over investigating areas of Wolf Creek. They were back out searching the creek Monday.

Police also announced over the weekend, they are asking for information on a person who was walking in the area when Wilson disappeared.

The high schools that Wilson attended have been doing their part in the search for Wilson, while also trying to comfort students. School counselor Amy Kriz with Union High School in La Porte City spent the day hanging up posters that thanked people who helped search for Wilson, while asking them to not give up hope. She hopes the posters will keep Wilson fresh in people’s minds.

“Not only for this community, but Jake’s family. Let them know we’re still there for them," she said.

She says it’s hit the ones who were in the same classes as him the hardest. She adds “The ones that that were in some of his special rooms I’ve seen the majority of them. A lot of them have never experienced any type of grief or sadness, and so when something big like this happens to them it just takes a little longer for them to process these feelings and put labels to their feelings”

Peter Teahen is an expert in crisis management. He says the family shouldn’t give up, and their friends shouldn’t either.

He says, “You stand by the parents. You can’t prepare them for the the worse nightmare because they’re already experiencing it right now. You can’t take their hope away from them.”

Whether it’s writing letters to Wilson’s family, or talking about it in the classroom.
Kriz says they want to give students every outlet to express their emotions.

She adds, “We’re not trying to get into theories or anything like that but just letting to know that it’s ok to have feelings to process the situation and letting them know our door is always open.”

Wilson transferred from Union High School to Cedar Falls High School last semester. The counselor there says they are also working to help students cope with the situation. Last week the school held a bake sale to raise money for first responders.