Sawyer Cipolla

DEREK CLARKSTON/Kodiak Daily Mirror

Bayside Fire Station is headquarters for the search for Sawyer Cipolla, a 7-year-old autistic boy missing since Saturday. 

The search for Sawyer Cipolla stretched into Day 3 on Monday.

Cipolla — a 7-year-old autistic boy — went missing from his home off Forest Drive Saturday afternoon. Since then, Kodiak residents have rallied to help reunite the boy with his family. 

Tim Despain, public information officer for the Alaska State Troopers, said more than 900 people — by ground, air and horseback — searched for Cipolla on Sunday. He noted the outpouring of support from residents of Kodiak had reached historic levels when compared to other missing person searches around the state.   

“Usually, there is a large [number] of people who are concerned and are willing to help, but this is significant,” Despain said.

That has been especially apparent at Bayside Fire Station, which is serving as search headquarters. On Monday morning, people arrived at 7 a.m. and were split into 20 teams to begin the third day of searching. Awaiting for them when they came back to headquarters were tables loaded with food and drinks donated by businesses and residents.

As of noon Monday, there had been no new known developments in efforts to find Cipolla, who stands at 4 feet, 5 inches, and weighs 55 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing grey pants, a camo shirt and hiking boots. The only sign of Cipolla since his disappearance on Saturday has been the discovery of a wooden sword he was carrying. 

Despain said a dozen agencies are participating in the search, including Kodiak Fire Department, Bayside Volunteer Fire Department, Kodiak Police Department, Kodiak Island Search and Rescue, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, US Coast Guard, US Navy Seals, Alaska Air National Guard Rescue Coordination Center and K9 search and rescue teams from Anchorage and Mat-Su.

The Coast Guard has been assisting in the transport of K9 units from Anchorage to Kodiak, Despain said.

Despain said the search would continue as long as resources are available, or until the boy is found. Volunteers are asked to sign in at Bayside Fire Department before searching. After signing in, teams of five to six people will be assembled and assigned an area to search. 

Finding Cipolla has been challenging because of the terrain that rescue parties are navigating. 

“There is some really thick, old-growth vegetation in the area that can make it really challenging in the search efforts,” Despain said. “I wish that we knew. It’s a surprise that he has not been located at this point in time with everything being done.” 

Cipolla does not respond to his name. He does respond to “come on in,” "brigadier" and vocal howling. If someone says "Marco," he may answer "polo." 

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Cipolla is asked to contact the Alaska State Troopers in Kodiak at 907-486-4121.

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