An estimated 120 people will take part Sunday in a wooded-area search for the Pekin boy missing since mid-November.
In terms of numbers, it likely will be the largest hunt yet for Robert Bee Jr., 13, or evidence of his fate.
Earlier this month, Trucks 4 Kidz, a St. Louis-area volunteer organization, brought about a dozen people for a day-long search at the request of Team Bonsai, one of two local groups that has organized searches for Bee. Anthony Accardi, the organization’s director, promised to return.
The second search will include trained search dogs, he said, and Pekin-area volunteers who will split into teams and take search directions from Accardi’s group.
“More than 120 have signed up,” said Mary Jane Richards, founder of Team Bonsai, named after Bee’s middle name.
The volunteers will gather for a candlelight and prayer vigil at 7 p.m. Saturday at Riverfront Park in Pekin, then meet at 7 a.m. Sunday outside KMI Warehouse at 278 Koch St., Richards said.
Donations for the effort, such as water and food items, can be dropped off at the Mattress Doctor store on Court Street, Richards said.
Bee was declared missing on Nov. 18, the day after he ran from his home at 203 Sapp St. when a truant officer came to take him to school. He reportedly slept at a friend’s house that night but disappeared the next morning. He has not been seen since.
The Pekin Police Department, which has conducted several area searches as part of its intensive investigation in the case, will not take part in the search Sunday but will be kept aware of any results, Accardi said.
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