COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A new phase has been entered in the search for a missing 17-year-old who disappeared Monday evening after reportedly walking into the Big Walnut Creek near Academy Park, according to Mifflin Township authorities.
A release on Thursday stated search crews are now using boats to look for the teen and “are searching areas of the creek which previously were unreachable due to high water” caused by recent heavy rain.
Agencies assisting in the search include emergency personnel from Mifflin Township Division of Fire, the City of Gahanna, Columbus Division of Fire, Franklin County Sheriff’s office and West Licking Fire.
Previous efforts to find the missing teen included using a Columbus Police helicopter and Gahanna, Columbus and New Albany Police drones “to survey the area.”
Additionally, “emergency personnel have conducted searches on foot in and around the creek for signs of the victim, extending from Academy Park to south of Creekside near the VFW-Tri Community Post 4719,” the release noted.
At this time, trails along the Big Walnut Creek are closed due to high water in the search area. Also, Woodside Green Park is closed to allow emergency services to conduct water rescue operations. Mifflin Township urges the public “to stay clear for their safety.”
On Monday a post on the Gahanna Division of Police Facebook page indicated that a witness told officers that shortly before midnight, a male was seen walking into Big Walnut Creek near Nob Hill Drive and was unable to be located.
Police said the 17-year-old was involved in a fight with a family member and left the residence on foot.