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Lunchbox, laptop, DVDs found in search for SLO County boy lost in flood

Search efforts for a San Miguel boy swept away by floodwaters during a January storm have been reduced to a “limited, ongoing basis,” the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday.

That’s after 300 people searched over the weekend for 5-year-old Kyle Doan has been missing since Jan. 9, when his mother’s car was overtaken by water in San Marcos Creek as the two were on their way to school. Bystanders were able to save his mom, but Kyle disappeared into the current.

Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tony Cipolla told The Tribune via email that “multiple items of personal property from the car” have been recovered over the course of search efforts, including a lunchbox, laptop, DVDs and a school ID.

A small Nike shoe was recovered shortly after Kyle disappeared.

The reduction in search efforts follows a multi-agency search effort on Saturday and Sunday that consisted of more than 300 people from 10 sheriff’s offices around the state, including divers, search-and-rescue personnel and K9 units.

Kyle Doan, a 5-year-old kindergartner at Lillian Larsen Elementary School in San Miguel, was swept away by floodwaters on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.

“Large parts of the Salinas River in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties have been searched by air with the (California Highway Patrol) helicopter and drones,” Cipolla said. “Because ground searching is much more intensive and the area is so expansive, those crews have searched the San Marcos Creek and Salinas River to the northern boundary of San Miguel, an area experts believe most likely Kyle would have been found.”

Going forward, the searches will be on a limited, on-going basis without a fixed schedule, Cipolla said.

“We will continue the search until we’ve exhausted all reasonable possibilities of finding Kyle,” he said.

Crews search for missing 5-year-old Kyle Doan in the Salinas River north of San Miguel on Sunday, Jan.  22, 2023.

Crews search for missing 5-year-old Kyle Doan in the Salinas River north of San Miguel on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023.

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