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Hawaii police suspend search for autistic, nonverbal boy, 6, who has been missing for five days

Hawaii police suspend search for autistic, nonverbal boy, 6, who has been missing from his home for five days

  • Benjamin Rapoza, 6, went missing from a home in Keaukaha around 3pm Friday  
  • The boy, who is autistic and nonverbal, was last seen wearing diaper, police say 
  • On Tuesday, authorities announced that they are suspending search for the child
  • Police said they conducted extensive, multi-agency search by air, land and sea
  • Authorities said the investigation will continue with detectives ‘who are actively responding to any new information and tips’ 

Police in Hawaii have suspended their search for Benjamin Rapoza, an autistic six-year-old boy who has been missing since Friday

Police in Hawaii have suspended their search for Benjamin Rapoza, an autistic six-year-old boy who has been missing since Friday

Authorities in Hawaii have suspended their search for an autistic six-year-old boy who has been missing since last week. 

Benjamin Rapoza disappeared from a residence in Keaukaha around 3pm on Friday. 

The child, who is also nonverbal, was last seen wearing a diaper, police said. 

‘The active ground search for missing child Benjamin “Benny” Rapoza has been suspended following notification to the family,’ the Hawaii Police Department said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Police said they have conducted an extensive, multi-agency search by air, land and sea.

Community and family members island-wide have assisted in the search, police said. 

Police said the investigation will continue with detectives ‘who are actively responding to any new information and tips’. 

On Tuesday, volunteers shared an update on a Facebook page set up to help find Benjamin. 

‘Volunteers have now been coordinating line sweeps in an effort to cover more ground as the search continues,’ the Find Benjamin Rapoza page reads.

Benjamin, who is also nonverbal, was last seen wearing a diaper, authorities said

Benjamin, who is also nonverbal, was last seen wearing a diaper, authorities said 

An officer is seen near the water during a search

A search helicopter is pictured

Police (left) said they have conducted an extensive search which was a multi-agency air (right, a search helicopter), land and sea effort

‘We ask that you continue to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers as Christmas Eve is upon us and we look forward to bringing him home to celebrate,’ the volunteers added. 

The volunteers also shared photos of the search, adding that they will provide more details when more information becomes available. 

According to Hawaii News Now, dozens of volunteers playing Benjamin’s favorite tune, the theme song from SpongeBob SquarePants while they searched for him.

Though Benjamin is said to be nonverbal, he is able to respond to his name including his nickname ‘Big Boy.’

Authorities said Benjamin went missing while their family visited the home of a family friend.  

There were indications that the boy was in the back of the property, near the water, according to Hawaii News Now.

Benjamin is described as standing about 3-feet-tall, weighing about 50 pounds, slim build, with short brown hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion. 

Police continue to ask anyone with information on Benjamin’s whereabouts or may have seen him to call Detective BJ Sagon at (808)961-8883, (808)935-3311. 

The volunteers (pictured) also shared photos of the search, adding that they will provide more details when more information becomes available

The volunteers (pictured) also shared photos of the search, adding that they will provide more details when more information becomes available

Dozens of volunteers (pictured) playing Benjamin's favorite tune, the theme song from SpongeBob SquarePants while they searched for him

Dozens of volunteers (pictured) playing Benjamin’s favorite tune, the theme song from SpongeBob SquarePants while they searched for him

Authorities said Benjamin went missing while their family visited the home of a family friend. There were indications that the boy was in the back of the property (pictured), near the water

Police are seen at a search point

Authorities said Benjamin went missing while their family visited the home of a family friend. There were indications that the boy was in the back of the property (left), near the water

This graphic shows the area where searches have already looked for Benjamin

This graphic shows the area where searches have already looked for Benjamin 

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