LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The time of year may hinder and help local and national authorities as they search for a 4-year-old boy who has been missing since Friday.
Cezar "Ivan" Aguilar-Cano was last seen that afternoon playing outside his family's apartment building, near Churchill Downs.
The extra contact and activities that people may have had as they celebrated Independence Day could produce new leads.
"I'm hoping that, as people are doing things they wouldn't ordinarily do, they're keeping their eyes open, maybe looking places they wouldn't normally look, keeping their eyes out for anything suspicious," said Sgt. James Bland of the Louisville Metro Police Department's Crimes Against Children Unit. "We have more eyes on the ground that might be able to spot something that would help us locate Ivan."
But Ivan's parents, Rosalina Cano and Cesar Aguilar, like many neighborhood residents, work in the horse industry. Cano recently quit her position as a hot walker at Churchill Downs and Aguilar works in Lexington. Churchill's spring meet ends July 8, which will mean some turnover in the population.
"I want to make sure that we really get as much information from that area before Sunday," Bland said Wednesday during a media conference at police headquarters.
Bland's unit has been working with the cooperation of other law enforcement agencies across the state, and the nation, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Ivan's family is Guatemalan, so, Bland said, they've also sent images to entry points at the United States' southern border.
The worst thing that someone could do, Bland said, is to withhold a piece of information that they might consider insignificant. Bland also hopes that members of the local Hispanic community will not withhold information based on their legal status, he said.
"We're not looking to get anyone in trouble," he said. "Our goal isn't to deport anyone. Our goal isn't to get anyone in trouble with the police. We have one goal and that's to find Ivan."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)