The Search for C.J. Wilkerson Continues
Posted February 15, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
WAKE FOREST — New search plans are in the works to track down 9-year-oldC.J. Wilkerson. The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons has been called in to help with the case. The focus may be shifting from search and rescue, to search and recovery.
When searchers fanned out over Wake Forestlast weekthey were hoping to find C.J. and bring him home safely. That did not happen.
Now authorities will search again, this time beyond Wake Forest. They will bring in cadaver dogs to help locate the boy who may not be alive.
"As time goes on, I think it's only prudent that we continue to search for a live C.J., but we also begin to look at the possibility of doing a body recovery," says John Goad, the director of the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons.
The agency defends the Wake Forest Police Department's decision not to organize a search as soon as C.J. was reported missing on January 12.
In contrast, search crews were out in Chatham County Tuesday night, just hours aftertwo young boys disappeared.
Goad says C.J. Wilkerson's case is different, because it was considered a parental abduction.
"It was a stepfather, not a stranger abduction ... It was a stepfather who took the child, and that happens dozens and dozens of times across the state every year," he says.
Goad says it is possible C.J.'s case will never be solved. At the same time, he is hoping someone will recognize C.J.'s face, and bring the young boy home.
Leads are still coming in to authorities. If you have any information about C.J. Wilkerson, call the Wake Forest Police Department at919-554-6150.
You can also see C.J.'s picture and contribute to the search online.
Wilkerson is one of the prominent cases on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Web site. You can see the details on how he disappeared as well as phone numbers to call.
Three other missing children from North Carolina are also on the Web site.