Sheriff's Office: Family asks for volunteers to help search for missing boy - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Sheriff’s Office: Family asks for volunteers to help search for missing boy

Joseph Peterson, 16, was reported missing on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (Submitted)

CASPER, Wyo. – The Natrona County Sheriff’s office says the family of Joseph Peterson has requested volunteer help on the search for the missing boy.

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office made the announcement during a press conference on Friday morning.

“We are united in a common effort, and that is to bring Joey home,” said Sgt. Taylor Courtney.

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Courtney said the Peterson family discussed bringing in volunteer help with the sheriff’s office yesterday.

“The search for Joey is a coordinated, full-scale search which requires a command post knowing who is searching and what area are being searched,” said Courtney.

There is no formal meet time, but all volunteers are required to check in with the coordinated command post at Goose Creek Circle and be properly outfitted for the conditions, he said.

“We need to be sure that we know where people are and what is going on,” he said.

Courtney said volunteers should dress accordingly and carefully plan for Wyoming’s weather. “You always expect for the worst and hope for the best,” he said.

The sheriff’s office said the search area has expanded as the search continued and “to date we have investigated every lead that has been reported,” said Courtney.

Over 200 square miles have been searched by foot, aircraft, drone, ATV, horseback and K-9 teams, according to the sheriff’s office.

Courtney said since the start of the search, an Amber Alert was never warranted.

“During the initial moments of the search, Joey’s direction of travel away from his residence was located and confirmed through physical evidence, witness statements and multiple K-9 tracks,” said Courtney.

“We do know absolutely his direction leaving the house, and we do know for a fact that he did not go towards Hat Six Road looking for a ride,” said Courtney.

Courtney said garages, sheds and other out buildings in the area have been searched “multiple times.”

Sixteen-year-old Joseph, who is autistic, was reported missing between 11 a.m. and noon on Sunday, November 9. He reportedly left the family home in rural southwestern Natrona County wearing only a hooded sweatshirt and pajama bottoms.

The first deputy arrived on scene at 12:31 p.m., said Courtney on Friday.

Joseph Peterson, 16, was reported missing on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (Courtesy)
Natrona County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ryan Sheets prepares to search on horseback during the search and rescue effort for Joseph Peterson on Thursday morning. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
A Blackhawk helicopter from the Wyoming National Air Guard arrives to help search for Joseph Peterson on Thursday morning. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)