BELDING — Belding police, and many members of the Belding community, are currently searching for a 10-year-old boy who went missing after fishing along the Flat River Saturday morning.
According to Chief Dale Nelson, Devon Morrison was reported missing by his parents after he left his home on Harrison Street in the northeastern side of the city to go fishing at the Flat River at 10:30 a.m. The river is located about 700 ft. south of the street.
After conducting interviews with witnesses, Nelson said a neighbor who knows Devon told police that they spotted him walking on Harrison Street with his fishing pole at 2:30 p.m. Nelson said the neighbor believed the boy was walking away from the river.
Nelson said he is “optimistic” that Devon ended up at a friend’s house and is unaware that people are searching for him, as news of his disappearance was not made public until after 10 p.m. Saturday evening.
However, Nelson is encouraging those who are searching to remain diligent in their efforts.
Nelson confirmed a container of “night crawlers” used as bait for fishing likely belonging to Devon was spotted by a neighbor along the shoreline of the river.
As of 2 a.m. this morning, many residents were searching the streets in Belding along the Flat River, with some in rowboats and flashlights, with the majority of volunteers gathered on and around the Ashfield Street Bridge, where Nelson spoke to a group of about 20 volunteers and answered questions.
Nelson said all search parties at this point are by independent groups of volunteers, but added that if Devon is not found by sunrise, the department will likely begin organizing a larger search for the boy once there is daylight.
Nelson asks anyone who is searching and discovers any information to call 9-1-1, the Belding Police Department at (616) 794-1900, or Ionia County Central Dispatch at (616) 522-0911.