Search for Young Boy Now in 4th Day

ByABC News via logo
August 3, 2004, 1:12 PM

B I G   B E A R   L A K E, Calif., Aug. 3, 2004 -- The search for a 9-year-old boy who disappeared from a California mountain campground entered a fourth day today, with searchers hoping he is simply lost in the forest.

Rescuers searched for David Gonzalez throughout the night and said they would continue today.

According to the family, David went missing Saturday morning after he left their Hanna Flat campsite to get some cookies from their truck less than 50 yards away. The campground was full of people when David left after taking keys to the truck from his mother.

The cookies were still in the van and the keys have not been found.

David, who is small for his age, is 3 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 52 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes and is missing one tooth. He speaks mostly Spanish and has a speech impediment.

He was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with motorcycle designs, gray sweatpants, and white Nike shoes. Gonzalez has a scar on his right knee and a mole near his navel. His nickname is Davicho.

Volunteers, sheriff's deputies and U.S. Forest Service personnel fanned out through the mountains on foot, horseback, in helicopters and atop all-terrain vehicles.

They expanded 8 miles out from the campground near Fawnskin, a small community north of Big Bear Lake, where the boy was last seen.

He was reported missing by his parents, Jose and Rosenda Gonzalez of Lake Elsinore. They had been camping with friends from their church.

"It's hard for me to talk," Jose Gonzalez said at a press conference. "I'm very sad."

Authorities said David's mother saw a large beige truck speeding away from the area about the same time her son disappeared.

While there was no evidence of foul play, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cindy Beavers, officials would like to speak to the driver, who may have more information on the boy's whereabouts.

A mountain lion was spotted on the other side of the lake on Friday, but there is no indication that the boy had been attacked by an animal.