The search for six-year-old Arian from Bremervörde-Elm in Lower Saxony remained unsuccessful until the evening. According to the police, no new lead has been discovered. Now around 800 emergency services will be looking for the boy tomorrow – more than ever before, as a spokesman announced in the evening. The helpers will therefore form a search chain. Ten drones should take off.

Arian, who is autistic, has been missing since Monday evening. Since then, hundreds of emergency services have been combing the boy’s hometown and the surrounding area. Bremervörde-Elm is located between Bremerhaven and Hamburg. A surveillance camera filmed the boy probably running towards a forest after disappearing from his parents’ house.

The emergency services searched again today near Elm die Oste, a tributary of the Elbe. They traveled on the river in sonar boats. On land, helpers walked the river. Additional emergency services combed the area between Elm and the municipality of Oldendorf. In the area, a dpa reporter observed around 30 Bundeswehr soldiers checking a pasture. They spread out in a line and searched the ground. Unlike Friday, the search was not focused on Elm.

Police officers search in their free time

How many people are looking for Arian is unclear. Police did not have a total number. The spokesman said that around 50 police officers volunteered for duty and that there were no riot police officers on duty. There are also helpers from the German Life Saving Society, the German Red Cross and the Technical Relief Agency. A spokeswoman for the Lower Saxony state command of the Bundeswehr said that around 400 property guards and logisticians were currently taking part in the search during the day. Around 60 soldiers are deployed at night.

The police spokesman said there was no evidence of a criminal case. The spokesman ruled out a possible wolf attack, as there are wolves in the area. A wolf advisor from the Rotenburg district also thinks this is unlikely. Wolfgang Albrecht said that danger only exists in special cases, such as when a wolf feels attacked.

Occupational therapist advises

Arian probably won’t respond to calls. The occupational therapist Jutta Bertholdt works with autistic people and advises the emergency services. She said Arian could shy away from contact with emergency responders without the permission of someone he trusted. Rules are comparatively important to people with autism, she said. That’s why recordings were played that Arian should hear. These allowed him to contact the helpers.

Bertholdt had advised the emergency services not to touch Arian if they found him. Autistic people may find touch from strangers uncomfortable or painful, she said. But that is not always the case. The occupational therapist praised the emergency services. We are looking for what is right in all places. It could be that, as an autistic person, unlike his peers, Arian is not afraid of the dark forest.

Change of tactics on Saturday night

During the night, Bundeswehr soldiers searched for the boy with night vision devices. The soldiers should travel in small groups. It was discussed that the emergency services would remain silent. The operations management therefore changed its tactics: on previous nights, the helpers played children’s songs and set off fireworks. This was intended to get Arian’s attention. The police spokesman said the tactics were changed because the other approaches had not been successful.

Oldenburg missing person case with a happy ending

Insights from past missing person cases could help – including that of an eight-year-old from Oldenburg who was missing for days in 2022. The mentally disabled child got lost in a sewer system. After eight days of searching, a walker heard a quiet whimper coming from a manhole cover – just a few hundred meters from the child’s parents’ house. The boy was saved.