77ºF

Search for missing Baker County autistic boy to continue Monday

8-year-old Peyton Kyler Blodgett last seen at noon Saturday in Macclenny

photo

MACCLENNY, Fla. – Local, state and federal officials with helicopters, K-9s and even a dive team found no trace of Peyton Blodgett, an autistic 8-year-old boy who disappeared from his grandmother's home in Macclenny at noon Saturday.

The Baker County Sheriff's Office has provided a new briefing to the media late Sunday afternoon.

Police said Blodgett's father was with police and deputies searching wooded areas near where the boy was last seen. Authorities say the father may be able to assist in the search and point out places that the autistic child may hide.

Earlier in the day, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office dive team joined the effort searching two nearby ponds. Nothing was found in those ponds. 

A Florida Missing Child Alert was issued Saturday evening for 8-year-old Peyton Kyler Blodgett, who was last seen about noon Saturday on South State Road 121 in Macclenny.

Saturday afternoon, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had joined the Baker County Sheriff's Office, contributing a helicopter and more K-9 teams to the effort.

"We appreciate the people who want to volunteer for the search. We have a day with all these agencies who have come here to assist. We have protocols set up today. We appreciate people wanting to volunteer. We have certain protocols set up first. After that we may have the need for volunteers," said Sheriff Joey Dobson.

PRINTABLE FLYER: Missing Child Alert

By Saturday night, the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement took over the search in and around the home of Peyton's grandmother and her boyfriend, where the boy was spending the weekend while his parents were in Gainesville.

"They were outside and [Peyton] was inside. He just disappeared," said Sheriff Joey Dobson.

Peyton's 5-year-old sister, who was also playing inside the house, was not missing.

Dobson said Peyton is low-functioning autistic. Police don't believe he could have gotten far. Due to his autism, he tends to hide from people, but he is fascinated with cars and could have gotten inside a vehicle with someone.

Law enforcement using body-heat detectors searched through the night and Dobson said a pond near the home will be searched by divers on Sunday.

The Baker County Press said the grandmother and her boyfriend, seven-time felon Jerry Carter, will be given lie-detector tests on Sunday. Most of Carter's convictions are for non-violent offenses, although there was one aggravated assault count on a law enforcement officer, the sheriff said.

"I don't think (the test) will turn out good," he conceded.

Peyton was wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt with "Daytona" written on the front and black tennis shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Baker County Sheriff's Office at 904-259-2861 or FDLE at 1-888-FL MISSING.


About the Authors: