AURORA | By the time Aurora police starting searching for David Puckett on New Year’s Eve — three nights before his body was found in an Olympic Park pond — the 6-year-old boy had likely already slipped underwater, police Chief Nick Metz said Friday.
“We believe he probably went in there within that first hour,” Chief Nick Metz said Friday.
An army of searchers — including Aurora police, David’s family and several other law enforcement agencies and volunteers — scoured his neighborhood south of the park at South Chambers Road and East Yale Avenue for days trying to find the boy.
Metz, during a press conference about the decision to issue an Amber Alert for David, said police believe Puckett couldn’t have slipped into the pond after the search started because there were so many police in the area at the time. Instead, investigators think he likely went into the pond during that first hour he was missing before the family reported his disappearance to police, Metz said.
“People just really did everything possible in hopes of finding David alive,” he said.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation waited until Monday to issue the Amber Alert because there was no indication the boy had been abducted, said CBI Director Michael Rankin.
The alerts are generally reserved for abductions where police believe there is an immediate threat to the child, Rankin said.
CBI is happy to discuss potential tweaks to when and how often they issue the alerts, Rankin said, but they worry issuing the alerts too often could cause people to become desensitized to them.
Puckett’s family on Thursday announced they set up a memorial account at Space Age Federal Credit Union in Aurora, where the public can make donations.
That account is the only donation location authorized by the family, police said. Any other donation sites online or elsewhere that claim to be affiliated with the family are not, they warned.
Donations can be made at the credit union, 3005 Parker Road, No. C-300, Aurora, 80014, under the David Puckett Memorial Fund, account No. 84527.
Puckett went missing New Year’s Eve and police found his body in a frozen pond in Olympic Park on Tuesday. The park is a short walk from the Puckett family’s home.
The Arapahoe County coroner said there were no signs of trauma to the boy’s body but has not said how he died.