Since mid-morning Sunday, police and volunteers have been combing the dense woods in Damascus Regional Park and Little Bennett Regional Park, looking for 11-year-old William McQuain, missing since late September.
"I find it inextricably sad," says Raice McLeod, a Damascus resident.
Montgomery County, state, and parks police are using ATVs, mounted patrols, and tracking dogs in the search. At least eighty people are involved.
"They're going to be focusing on certain areas," says Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks. "The hope is he's still alive. However we are using teams of people experienced when the person is deceased."
Just this past Wednesday, the boy's mother, 51-year-old Jane McQuain, was found stabbed and beaten to death in their Germantown condominium.
Police in Charlotte, N.C. now have McQuain's estranged husband, 45-year-old Curtis Lopez, in custody. He is charged with murder. Lopez is also William McQuain's step-father.
Maryland authorities say they've gathered information that led them to search the two parks.
"One hopes that they can put some closure on it, fingers crossed," says McLeod. "Maybe, maybe some good news at the end. Doesn't look good, I guess."
Police plan on confining the search until dusk on Sunday. There's no decision yet on whether the search will continue Monday.