Police are concerned that community efforts to find a missing 3-year-old boy south of Perth could compromise the official search, as locals on dirt bikes potentially trample any telltale footprints left by the toddler.
The boy, named James, has been missing from a residence on Karlie Rise, Yallingup since 7.30 this morning.
Police say the toddler was outside playing with dogs, when his parents briefly went inside the house, returning to find their son gone.
The family were reportedly visiting the surfing town for the weekend when the boy disappeared.
The house is located adjacent to dense bushland.
Police detection dogs and SES volunteers are combing the area, while a police helicopter is conducting an aerial search.
The WA Police mounted section has also been sent from Perth to assist with search efforts
Police are looking for footprints left by James’ distinctive Wellington gumboots.
“It is important members of the public do not venture into the bushland areas as they may inadvertently compromise evidence of where James has walked, and that could impact on the ability of trained searchers to track his movements,” WA Police said.
“Anyone who is in the area already is asked to stick to the main tracks and roads.”
Temperatures were around 12C degrees when the boy vanished and it has been raining in the area today, making the search even more difficult.
James is fair skinned with blonde hair and blue eyes, and is wearing white Spiderman pyjamas.
Anyone who sees the boy is asked to remain with him and call police immediately on 000.