Despite the massive storms sweeping the state of California, January 9th started out just like any other Monday for 5-year-old Kyle Doan and his mother. With no road closures or evacuation orders in the area, the two got in the car and headed off to Kyle’s school – it wasn’t even 8:00 in the morning at this point.
Around 7:45 a.m., the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a missing 5-year-old who was swept away in a vehicle after it got stuck in the floodwaters. Nearby locals were on the scene and managed to rescue the mother from the vehicle before it was swept away – the little boy still aboard.
The two victims were identified as Kyle Doan and his mother. What was supposed to be nothing more than a normal Monday quickly turned into a tragedy for the Doan family. It has now been two days since he was reported missing and the only thing authorities have to show for it is one of the little boy’s shoes.
A five-hour search was initiated on Monday, which included a fleet of engines, a helicopter, a hands-on team, and the Underwater Search and Rescue (USAR). Unfortunately, the search was suspended due to extreme weather conditions that made it difficult to see clearly and gain access to certain areas safely.
On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office provided their first real update – describing the little boy as having “short dirty blond hair, hazel eyes, 4 feet tall, 52 pounds. Last seen wearing black puffer jacket with a red liner, blue jeans, blue and gray Nike tennis shoes.” They want others to avoid helping due to safety concerns.
The search continued most of the day Tuesday with all hands on deck – including the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, USAR (Underwater Search and Rescue) Team, Drone Team, Deputies, Detectives and air operations,’ according to a second update by the Sheriff’s Office. Conditions were still dangerous.
“The conditions remain extremely dangerous. The water level is high and continues to be fast moving. The public is strongly cautioned not to conduct self-initiated searches and put themselves in harm’s way and become a victim requiring resources that would otherwise be used for searching,” the update said.
There’s Little Hope That Kyle Doan is Alive
On Wednesday, Brian Doan – the father of Kyle Doan – spoke with CNN about the grief and pain his family is going through right now. While they would love to sit around and hope that their little boy is still alive, Brian is being forced to face a reality no parent should be forced to experience in their lifetime.
“The hard thing to say to a lot of people at this point in time is, it’s not a rescue. It’s a recovery. And that’s something no parent wants to admit. And I kind of knew it after the first night… And it’s a hard, hard concept, especially when it’s your kid,” said the father, with his voice breaking on multiple occasions.
While the vehicle has since been found, Doan remains missing and with the way the floodwaters are running, he could be anywhere. “You know what the odds are. And as much as people try to be optimistic – and I’m supportive for my wife – it’s hard,” Brian continued as he poured his emotions out to the press.
He also spoke about the life his son lived. “He’s a great kid and he liked to dance. He was very talkative, very outgoing. He liked to be silly and trying to get attention in all those ways that a five-year-old likes to do. He likes to play soccer and he liked his Paw Patrol,” said Brian, adding he was excited to return to school.
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