Nothing in the city police department’s search for a boy who disappeared nearly a month ago indicates other area children are endangered, a police spokesman said Tuesday.
Detectives’ fiercely diligent efforts to find Robert Bee Jr., however, have produced virtually nothing.
A “tremendous amount of manpower and resources” has produced no confirmed sightings or solid leads to Bee, 13, who remains considered a runaway since his mother reported him missing on Nov. 18, said Public Information Officer Mike Eeten.
It is important “for the public to know that we do not have any information in this case to indicate that there is any risk to the public or children” in Pekin, he said in a news release.
In further comments, Eeten acknowledged parents’ growing worries about their own children’s safety.
“People are asking, ‘Should I be concerned about letting my kid go to the (school) bus stop or go out and play?’” he said.
“We have nothing to indicate there’s any danger to other children. If we felt like there was, we’d express that.”
Bee ran from the house he shares with his mother at 233 Sapp St. on Nov. 17 when a truancy officer and a city police officer arrived to issue her an ordinance citation for Bee’s failure to attend classes at Wilson School. He fled, leaving his bicycle laying on the front lawn, when told he was being taken to school.
When the truancy officer visited the next day for the same purpose, Bee’s mother reported him missing.
Nothing has come so far from the $1,000 reward the department issued through CrimeStoppers two weeks ago for information leading to the boy.
That continues to frustrate the department, which has devoted its entire detective force to the search and received help from other area, state and federal agencies.
“Our investigators have conducted numerous searches, interviews and have followed leads throughout Central Illinois,” Eeten said in the news release. They “have looked at this case from every angle,” and have pursued numerous tips, many of them more than once.
To prevent possible damage to its investigation, the department has declined to provide details of it. Eeten, however, confirmed that “a controlled search” was conducted Saturday of woods off the Manito Blacktop in response to a tip. It produced no results, he said.
Anyone with information that could lead to Bee is urged to call the department at 346-3132 or CrimeStoppers at 673-9000.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin