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Private search efforts continue in ongoing search for Kyle Doan

At least three searches are taking place this week
Kyle Doan 3.JPG
Posted at 1:06 PM, Feb 21, 2023

Family, friends and community volunteers are not giving up in the search for Kyle Doan.

The 5-year-old was swept away by floodwaters on his way to school in San Miguel the morning of Jan. 9.

While law enforcement was out in full force, searching nearly every day for the two weeks following Kyle’s disappearance, the majority of the searches lately have been done by Kyle's family and other volunteers.

One is taking place Tuesday in the San Marcos Creek and others are planned for this weekend in San Miguel.

Kyle’s parents, Brian and Lindsy Doan, pushed to get access to areas previously blocked off or only accessible to authorities, writing a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month pleading for help from the state to remove legal barriers in the ongoing search for their son so they could expand private search efforts.

A few days later, the family said they were told the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were lifting all restrictions in the search for Kyle.

Brian Doan says they fear their son is becoming a cold case.

A joint statement released Friday by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Cal OES and California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the agencies are committed to supporting the ongoing search.

“During this incredibly difficult time, the full weight of state and local government remains behind collective efforts to search for Kyle, and we are committed to supporting the family and community alike. Governor Gavin Newsom has directed Cal OES to coordinate the deployment of any and all resources requested by San Luis Obispo to support the ongoing search.” The agencies remind those involved in private searches to seek permission from individual property owners first and to keep safety top of mind, adding, “Together, we will continue this important work. We have not lost hope.”

Organizers of the upcoming searches this weekend say they’ve been granted access from the San Miguel Fire Department to get heavy machinery down to the Salinas River by use of the department’s service road.

Organizers say they are in need of heavy machinery and encourage volunteers to bring chainsaws and/or shovels, calling them “vital” for the search.

On Feb. 10, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office conducted an aerial search for Kyle along the Salinas River north to the Pacific Ocean.

The sheriff’s office says their most recent search took place Feb. 15 with members of its off-highway vehicle team.

Team members reportedly assessed parts of the Salinas River for future search efforts; however, the sheriff’s office says thick mud hampered even those efforts, adding that searches would continue as conditions allow.