As the search for Noah Chamberlin entered its sixth day in western Tennessee, authorities working to find the 2-year-old pleaded with people to stop spreading rumors on social media — particularly Facebook — regarding the missing child. Both sheriffs involved in coordinating the search efforts addressed the rumors, one labeling them a “disgrace” while the other referred to the rumors as “garbage” and a “hindrance” to the search.
The Jackson Sun reported January 19 that, during the press conference to update the public on the search for missing 2-year-old Noah Chamberlin, authorities announced that the search would be suspended during the night, stating that everything had been done in the effort to find the missing child but that impending inclement weather would make the search treacherous for those out in it. Madison County Sheriff John Mehr referred to the terrain as “awful” and reports have described the search area as rugged and filled with small creeks.
Investigators emphasized that the ongoing search for the 2-year-old has been thorough from the start. Mehr noted that both cadaver and tracking dogs had been in the woods behind the child’s grandmother’s house since he was reported missing. At the same time, it has not been disclosed whether or not there has been anything connected to the toddler found in those same woods. Still, as the decision to suspend the search was made, the sheriffs took it upon themselves to address rumors that had popped up on social media, especially some being disseminated through Facebook.
Chester County Sheriff Blair Weaver said that there were rumors being circulated about concrete. These, he said, refer to a storm shelter that’s been in place for two years.
“It’s a disgrace that some love people to suffer by starting rumors,” Sheriff Mehr said. He then pointed out that the “family has been with us the entire time.”
Noah Chambelin’s family have all been questioned extensively and have cooperated with authorities throughout the investigation. Investigators have stated there is no reason to suspect foul play.
“Don’t start rumors; don’t post all that garbage on Facebook,” Mehr went on. “We need help, not hindrance.”
The Madison County sheriff was referring to discussions on Facebook, like posts found on the “Help Find Noah Chamberlin” page, that offered up various speculations about the investigation. One noted that there was a concrete structure that should be checked out by authorities. Another spoke suspiciously of funds from a GoFundMe account that are “sketchy” in some way and wondered if the family was “hiding” something, including the missing child.
Rumors aside, both sheriffs stated that they’re pretty sure the little boy is in the woods. The search is still considered a search and rescue mission, since no evidence of foul play or a kidnapping has been uncovered.
Noah Chamberlin was reported missing by his grandmother at about 1:20 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, January 14, after he had wandered away from her and his 4-year-old sister. The trio were taking a nature walk behind the grandmother’s Pinson, Tennessee, home and had decided to sit down. The grandmother said she was paying more attention to her granddaughter and when she turned around, the toddler had vanished.
The 2-year-old has also been added to the search list database of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. He is described as being 3 feet tall and weighing about 30 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a gray shirt. Those with information regarding the missing child are urged to call 911 or 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST) or contact the Chester County Sheriff’s Office (Tennessee) at 1-731-989-2787.