Chicopee PD warns: Leave search and recovery efforts for missing boy to professionals

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Authorities are advising against a request asking for kayakers to help in the search for Aiden Blanchard, an 11-year-old boy from Chicopee who went missing on February 5. 

In a Facebook post, the Chicopee Police Department said it strongly recommends leaving the search and recovery efforts for Aiden to the professionals. 

“We have spoken to Aiden’s mother as well as other family members and they are in agreement that the river is dangerous,” the police department stated in the Facebook post

A social media post on Saturday asked experienced kayakers to join family members out on the Connecticut River Wednesday, to search for Aiden.

The department is asking everyone to stay off the river, adding that the planned community search poses many safety concerns from the temperature of the water, ice, debris, and the strength of the current. 

“Leave the search and recovery efforts to the professionals, most important is the safety and concern of everyone,” Chicopee Police Detective Donna Liszka told 22News.

All agencies involved in the search, including local and state police, will continue the recovery efforts for Aiden, the department said. 

Aidan was last seen walking in the Willimansett area of Chicopee near Old Field Road Friday around 11:30 a.m., heading towards the Medina boat launch area. It is believed Aidan was alone and near the Connecticut River when he went missing.

No foul play is currently suspected.

He is described as 5 feet tall, and weighing about 100 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing black snow pants, a black hoodie, and a red coat.

If you have seen him or have any information on his whereabouts, please call the Chicopee Police Department at 413-594-1740. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has also been contacted and is assisting. You can also call them with any information at 1-800-THE-LOST.

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