HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - The search for little Robbie Wood at the North Anna Battlefield Park involves tremendous geographical challenges for search crews. The park measures more than 80 acres.
There are drop offs, swift moving water, ravines and acres upon acres of rough forest. Hundreds of volunteers tracked through the woods Monday-- many have tremendous familiarity with the area. When they returned, after just a few hours they were worn, filthy, and hungry. Robbie has been missing for nearly 30 hours.
"It's a lot of cervices, there's crates, there's very steep ravines, especially to the rear of the park where the river is at," said Travis Hearn, the parks and recreation representative responsible for maintaining the North Anna Battlefield Park.
Not only is the area vast- it's also a Civil War battlefield-- complete with the remnants of hazardous trenches.
"Some of these ravines, like you say, are very steep," said Hearn. "And one slip, you can end up right at the bottom."
"When you get off the trails, that's when it gets really rough and the terrains really bad and stuff like that," Michael Bruce, family friend. "There's a bunch of thickets back here. We've got tall pines, you couldn't see through with a helicopter or anything like that."
River levels were lowered for the search, but the rapids are still there...and Robbie likes water. The 9-year-old was last seen at an exhibit on the interpretive trail. So many hours later, many searches say he could be almost anywhere.
"There's a lot of big timber, lot of cliffs, lot of ravines.Aalso, a huge river and it has several rapids in some areas on the river," said Billy Goodman, a family friend. "And there's a lot of downed trees and a lot of thickets. It's not a good place to be. When you're lost, especially in his condition."
"Especially with the ravines that were there, the trenches that were there," said Hearn. "Even with the manpower that we have, I can see something being missed."
And it's not just the geography that poses a challenge. Black bears have also been spotted in Hanover County this season.
"Coyotes, bobcats, you know there's a few wild animals that could definitely be a threat to him," said Goodman.
"It's stressful. It's all stressful. We're just hoping that someone will turn up," said Bruce.
One man I spoke to from parks and recreation said grown men- familiar with the woods, were slipping and sliding through the park, but they were out there in droves, searching even the most dangerous areas. Still, no sign of this little boy, not even a foot print to show which direction to search.