Search continues for missing NSW boy

·2-min read

Hundreds of volunteers and police are scouring bushland for a three-year-old boy who went missing on his family's 260 hectare property in the NSW Hunter region.

Police were called to the farm in Putty, near Singleton, on Friday, about an hour after Anthony "AJ" Elfalak was last seen around 11:45am.

A co-ordinated search for the boy, who has autism and is non-verbal, continues on Saturday afternoon, with the assistance of police on the ground and in the air, the dog squad, police divers, the State Emergency Service and the Rural Fire Service.

"At this point in time AJ remains missing, and our search continues," Superintendent Tracy Chapman told reporters from the search area.

Police are investigating whether an amber alert needs to be issued, used when a child has been abducted.

"Police are looking into all avenues ... and we're currently assessing the requirement for an amber alert," Supt Chapman said.

AJ's relatives fear the boy may have been taken from the property, family friend Alan Hashem wrote in a Facebook post appealing for community members to keep any eye out for the child.

"Four ATVs (quad bikes) were dispersed immediately within the 10 minute window that AJ went missing and covered a large radius and could not find him," he wrote.

"This child has never wandered before."

NSW police have issued a geo-targeted message asking people in the area to look out for the child.

A total of 108 volunteers are assisting police on foot and on dirt bikes, but police have discouraged any more volunteers from coming forward to search.

" We really ... appreciate the general community just want to be here to help ... but we are still in the middle of a pandemic ... but in addition to that we have well over 130, 140 resources on the ground," Supt Chapman said.

She added, "obviously the terrain is very difficult, we are in a rural setting ... we have been searching some of the dams and waterways."

Police divers searched a large dam on the property, which was also drained during the search.

AJ is believed to be wearing a grey jumper and pants, as well as sneakers, and is described as being of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance, with short, dark hair.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting