Jake Wilson, an autistic teen, has been missing in Iowa since April. Police, friends, and family have been diligently searching for the 16-year-old, and his loved ones have not given up hope. Today, police have announced that they are sharing a “significant development” about Wilson during a press conference at 4 p.m. Central. Jake Wilson’s disappearance was the last high-profile missing child case, just a few short months before Mollie Tibbetts later went missing in Iowa. Tibbetts’ disappearance is still a mystery.
Here is what you need to know about Jake Wilson and what happened to him. This is a developing story and updates about Jake Wilson will be shared here as they are announced.
1. Jake Wilson Said He Planned to Walk Along Wolf Creek in La Porte City Before He Disappeared
Jake Wilson, 16, is believed to have been walking along Wolf Creek in La Porte City when he disappeared, NBC 13 reported. Despite multiple searches by divers in the creek where he was last seen, there was no sign of Wilson. Since his disappearance, volunteers have continued searching the area around the lake.
On the evening of April 7, he told his parents he was planning to walk to Wolf Creek, Des Moines Register reported. He had returned home from getting ice cream at a local shop and wanted to walk to the creek, which was just two blocks away. He told his parents he would be right back, and they haven’t seen him since, The Courier reported. He was supposed to compete in Iowa’s Special Olympics this summer.
2. The Creek Is the ‘Main Culprit’ in Wilson’s Disappearance
Officials have said that they believe the creek is the “main culprit” in Wilson’s disappearance, Des Moines Register reported. Wolf Creek runs through the La Porte City community, which is near Waterloo.
Wilson’s mother and stepfather have asked for help in finding their son. You can see a heartfelt message from them in the video above.
Megan Neiswonger, Jake Wilson’s mother, has said that Wilson has a mild intellectual disorder and he functions at the level of a 9-year-old, Iowa Cold Cases reported. His stepfather, Jeremy Neiswonger, said they were heartsick about Wilson and trying to remain hopeful.
3. Police Are Holding a Press Conference This Afternoon with a ‘Significant Update’
Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson and La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher are holding a news conference to share updates about Wilson’s case at 4 p.m. today, August 16. Officials have said that this press conference will bring a “significant update” to the investigation. The press conference will be held at the La Porte City fire station.
4. Wilson Was Wearing a Brown Hoodie, Dark Pants, & Cowboy Boots When He Disappeared
Jake Wilson is 16 and 5’6″ tall, weighs 135 pounds (some sources say he weighs 120 pounds.) He has blonde hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen April 7 around 8:30 to 9 p.m. When he disappeared, he was wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt that zips close, dark pants, and cowboy boots. He wasn’t wearing his glasses when he disappeared, We Are Iowa reported.
When Wilson disappeared, the temperatures were unusually cold for that time of year, Iowa Cold Cases reported. The low in Waterloo, near La Porte City, was 12 degrees the morning he was last seen.
5. Wilson’s Disappearance Is Not Believed To Be Related to Mollie Tibbett’s Disappearance
Although Jake Wilson disappeared in La Porte City, Iowa, which is about an hour away from where Mollie Tibbetts was last seen in Brooklyn, Iowa, the two cases are not believed to be related. Authorities have not shared any public leads about Tibbetts’ disappearance. They have said that they believe Wolf Creek is the main culprit in Wilson’s.
This is a developing story.