Thursday marks one month since an intense storm pummeled the Central Coast, leaving several places across the area damaged or destroyed.
It has also been one month since 5-year-old Kyle Doan went missing in floodwaters near San Miguel. Now, his mother is seeking more help from the state to help bring her son home, hoping something can be done to allow the family and other volunteers more access outside of where authorities are being granted access.
KSBY anchor Nina Lozano sat down with Lindsy and Brian Doan and talked about the letter she sent to Governor Newsom. Kyle's parents described how each day feels not knowing where their son is. "It feels like the day doesn't end," said Lindsy. Brian adds, "We don't know. We don't know if it's a Tuesday or Wednesday, really. We just wake up, it's another day. We haven't heard anything."
The Doans are stuck in limbo -- unable to grieve and unable to heal. Each day they're looking for answers, 'Where is their sweet young boy?'
Five-year-old Kyle Doan was swept away by flood waters near San Miguel while Lindsy drove him to school on January 9. "It's frequent that people stop us in the stores or they say, 'I'm sorry' and they offer their condolences. And it's well-meaning, but at the same time, we don't know whether he's somewhere or if he is dead," said Lindsy.
A month of massive searches involving local and state agencies and private parties and yet there has been no trace of Kyle aside from his shoe. Lindsy says, "It's overwhelming the amount of debris that's out there. It's unbelievable."
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office has scaled back its large-scale operations and is conducting small-scale searches on a limited basis.
The Sheriff’s Office can certainly understand the frustrations of the Doan family. We too are disappointed that all of our many search efforts over the last month have failed to locate Kyle. And yet we continue to search. We remain in contact with the Doan family on a regular basis. We support the Doan family. And it is our fervent hope that we will be able to locate Kyle and return him to his family.
The Doan family is now asking for the governor's help so they can expand their own private search efforts and go to areas they've been unable to scour.
"I asked the sheriffs because I know that they've been kind of gracious enough to tell us what we can and can't do and they told me, that's all fish and game," said Lindsy.
Lindsy wrote a letter to the governor's office pleading with the State of California to remove legal barriers for their own search efforts, including allowing private businesses to use their equipment to remove the debris along the Salinas River so search teams may have easier access. "I want him (Governor Gavin Newsom) to imagine his child and what he would do if his child went missing, in which case I'm pretty sure he would move heaven and earth in order to try to figure out where he was and I want him to take that into account for Kyle as well because we don't have the same resources that he does."
Lozano reached out to Governor Newsom's office. A spokesperson from the Office of Emergency Services sent a statement saying:
California won’t leave any stone unturned in the search for Kyle Doan – and our hearts are with the Doan family during this extremely challenging time.
From the moment Kyle went missing, Governor Gavin Newsom deployed state resources including the National Guard and Cal Fire to help in the search. And at the Governor’s direction, Cal OES and CDFW remain in close contact with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff and local law enforcement to mitigate any potential obstacles, and is committed to continuing to provide resources to support the ongoing search.
Further, the executive order signed by Governor Newsom on January 4 provides broad authority to local partners to bypass environmental restrictions and other regulations that may slow the search.
During this incredibly difficult time, the full weight of the state remains behind the search and we are committed to supporting the family and community alike.
As Kyle's parents continue to search for answers, they are grateful for the community that continues to help. "There's like no way that I can ever possibly pay them back or thank them for everything that they've done for our family, because it's, it's so incredible," said Lyndsy.
Kyle's loved ones still live with uncertainty, but they will not stop until they bring their little boy home.
"We love him. We miss him. I try to talk to him every day. I'll tell him to please help us find you. Ask him if he's here spiritually with us. To come into my dreams so I can talk to him," said Lyndsy.
Thursday, Doan shared on Facebook that the governor's office called her and said they've forwarded her request to Cal OES and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Doans have also reached out to local lawmakers like Assemblymember Dawn Addis for help in furthering search efforts.
”This tragic situation requires state and local officials to do everything in our power to find Kyle. There’s no law, or barrier, that should prevent this urgent search from continuing. None of us would expect anything less.”