City Desk

How Did Searchers Miss 7-Year-Old Michael Kingsbury?

Michael Kingsbury

Seven-year-old Michael Kingsbury was found dead in a car last night, just feet from the Trinidad home he had disappeared from Sunday morning. How could police and other searchers have missed him?

Assistant Chief Peter Newsham told reporters he couldn't speculate how Kingsbury hadn't been seen in previous searches around the car, parked in an alley on the 1700 block of West Virginia Ave. NE. "It's too early to determine whether somebody missed something or not," Newsham said.

The cause of Kingsbury's death hadn't been determined Monday evening. It wasn't clear how long he had been in the car, or whether foul play was involved.

Newsham pushed back on complaints that MPD's effort, which included the posting of flyers and door-to-door canvassing, hadn't been strong enough in the neighborhood. I walked nine blocks in the neighborhood where Kingsbury was discovered and only saw one police flyer, although it's not clear how many were taken down after he was found.

Trinidad resident Gaston McVea confronted Newsham, accusing him of not giving searchers enough authority to go into locked backyards. McVea said he passed the white car where Kingsbury was discovered several times during the search without seeing him.

"That's something that I have to sleep with and live with," McVea says. "Because we were that close."

Photo courtesy MPD

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  • SEis4ME

    Good look Will, especially walking the n'hood!

  • dddd

    RIP and my condolences to the family. But is DC MPD so incompetent that they didn't look into the car? I mean, how many parents have seen their kid run into the car out of habit? Seriously....DC Keystone Kopz!

  • Steve

    Half-baked policing in DC stems from too many cops not residing in the city. Why should they give a damn?

  • name

    Blame it on the sorry state of our Judicial System and the unbelievable power of the ACLU, that the police's first and overriding reaction was to spend resources accounting for all the sex offenders that we're forced to allow in our neighborhoods. The overreaction to a missing child is understandable given this circumstance, but it diverted precious resources that should have been checking every child sized nook and cranny within a 4 block radius instead of jumping to the abduction scenario.

    It's a real failure of our society that we continue to be focused on the redemption of drug dealers, child molesters, and murderers instead of protecting the weak and vulnerable.

    I hope the Supreme Court, our Appellate and Circuit Judges all sleep tight tonight knowing that they played a major role in this vulnerable child's death.

  • Typical DC BS

    Idiotic comments. Blame the cops - yeah right. What about the parents, who are supposed to be watching him? And how would he get in a neighbors car in a fenced-in yard? Please, try using some brainpower to realize this is just bad luck.

  • lovessoldier

    pissed off when I saw the picture of the little boy missing in CA who is also autistic and in CA!!!! How does one child missing on a different coast get more coverage than that of a DC resident. He is trending. Michael Kingsbury was NEVER trending in HIS HOMETOWN!!! There was not a call for a search party, instead they visited the homes of sex offenders. TWO HOUSES DOWN, when does this city get the fact that EVERYCHILD should be treated as a child, then maybe they won't grow up and beat the crap out of there neighbors. Tragic!!!

  • DCShadyBoots

    I agree that police officers who "live" in the communities they serve have a greater vested interest in those communities.

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  • Individual Responsibility

    I agree with "Typical DC BS". The family and neighbors need to look at themselves first before blaming the police. Why did the neighbor have an unlocked abandoned car in their backyard? Why didn't the neighbors surrounding the house do a thorough search of their own property and any potential hiding areas? It is certainly a tragedy but blaming the police for the family's poor supervision of the child and the neighbor's negligence in searching their property just perpetuates the same conflict between the community and police.

  • SEis4ME

    @Name...blame it on the ACLU? *sigh*

    @Typical, well sure, we can blame every parent who has a missing child for encouraging the "endangerment" but it surely is quite a high-minded way of looking at reality.

    While we're at it, let's not blame a child for getting hit by a car. Blame the parents for the driver deciding to NASCAR it through a residential n'hood.

  • Lori

    It's not possible that this little boy was in the car from 9:30 until 6pm the next day and nobody noticed him!! If he was locked in there I'm PRETTY damn sure he was up trying to unlock the doors or knocking on the window; SOMETHING! Somebody put that boy in the car!! It's so heartbreaking to know this little innocent boy died

  • Lori

    I highly doubt he was laying down the WHOLE time if he was supposedly in the at the whole time !! I just keep thinking about this little boy

  • Typical DC BS

    @SEis4ME: Don't get me wrong - I feel for that family. But for anyyone to think the cops magically can find anyone they want quickly, without doing a proper investigation first, is delusional. Folks need to stop getting fired up until the WHOLE story comes out. It sure seems to me there is more going on here than this boy simply wandering away.