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Search Ends for Missing 4-Year-Old

November 5, 1997

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) _ An intense search for a 4-year-old autistic boy who wandered away from home wearing only a diaper was called off Tuesday night, although authorities still hoped the sound of his favorite ``Barney″ music would lure him home.

One sheriff’s deputy remained behind playing the tape featuring the purple dinosaur from the popular children’s TV show.

``I can’t stand the thought of just walking away, but there are not a lot of places left to look,″ said Linn County Sheriff David Burright.

Elijah ``Eli″ Kelt apparently walked away from his rural home Monday morning when his mother had briefly left him alone. The house is located about 100 yards from the Willamette River and is surrounded by wetlands and thick brush.

``There’s water everywhere here and Eli liked the water and had no fear of it whatsoever,″ Burright said. ``That concerns us.″

The two-day search covered 6 square miles on foot and horseback, most of it more than once, plus searches by air and in the water.

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