Officials in desperate search for missing child after relatives found dead

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On Saturday, search teams in western Arkansas continued to look for a 9-year-old boy who has been missing for nearly a week as investigators discovered the bodies of at least three of his relatives, including his mother and baby sister.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Reilly Scarbrough, has not been seen since Sunday and is “in immediate danger.”

Fox 16 reported that the body of Reilly’s mother, 43-year-old Bethany Jo Wester, was found in a creek Tuesday near the town of Cove in far western Arkansas. Two days later, the body of the boy’s great-uncle, 66-year-old Steven Payne, was discovered in the nearby town of Hatfield.

On Friday, 2-year-old Acelyn Wester’s body was found in the woods a short distance from where her mother’s remains were located.

Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer appeared at a press conference Friday where he confirmed that the deaths are being investigated as homicides, and fought tears while as he promised to “seek justice for the families” of the victims.

Sawyer noted that officers from eight agencies are searching for Reilly.

“Somebody knows where he’s at. Someone has information,” Sawyer said. “We need to find Reilly. We’re going on the premise Reilly is alive.”

Sawyer did not indicate how the victims were killed, or mention possible suspects or motives in the case. Neither did he offer information regarding the whereabouts of the children’s other relatives, including a father.

“With their mother being found dead and their uncle being found dead, that ups the criticalness of the case,” said Rebecca Kovar, the senior program manager at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “The longer a child is missing, the more critical the situation becomes.”

H/T: Fox News

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