MILWAUKEE – Police walked shoulder-to-shoulder through wooded areas and dive teams searched the sewers Wednesday in an escalating search for two young boys who disappeared while playing together Sunday.
Officers have also been searching vacant houses, vacant vehicles and the homes of registered sex offenders in the area where the boys were last seen, but there has been no sign of them, said police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz.
"We haven't gotten calls from people who've said, 'I've seen them here or there,"' which is unusual, Schwartz said.
With no trace of the boys and no evidence of any crime, divers were called in Wednesday to search the neighborhood's sewers and a nearby lagoon to rule out a possible drowning. Officers were also searching by helicopter and expanded their ground search to a nearby state park and surrounding streets.
Police officials said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that there was no indication the boys' families had anything to do with their disappearance.
"I know somebody's got them," said Quadrevion's grandfather, Garry Henning.
Quadrevion's father, Quentin Henning of Huntsville, Texas, said it's highly unusual that his son, known as 'Dre', would wander away.
"Dre has a two-block radius, he didn't want to go any further," Henning said. "If you can't see the house, it's too far for him."
Purvis' mother, Angela Virginia, made a plea on national television for the boys' safe return.
"If I had a chance, I'd say, 'Boys, please come home. We've got everybody worried about you guys,"' she told a major news network. "Everybody out here just wants you home."
Relatives said neither boy had ever run away before and both were well-mannered and obedient.
"This has never happened before, the most he'd ever be late is a half an hour or so," Virginia said. "He's a very healthy little boy."
At her son's school, students wrote letters and drew signs of hope Tuesday for the boys' safety.
The two were last seen playing outside a home around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. One of their grandfathers told them to come inside, but they asked to keep playing, Schwartz said. The grandfather called police about 8:30 p.m. Sunday when the boys didn't return.
A Florida group called A Child Is Missing was also helping police in the search. The group called all home and business telephone numbers within a mile of where the boys were last seen and played a recorded message about the pair, Schwartz said. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posted pictures of the boys on its Web site, as did America's Most Wanted.