Dante disappeared near his home in Tröingeberg, Falkenberg, at 5pm on Tuesday. The dog was later found, but it is not thought the boy, who has Down syndrome, knows his way home by himself.
Police have ordered a no-fly zone until November 13th to be able to search for the boy with helicopters and drones without disruptions. On Thursday divers searched the river Ätran and all trains through Falkenberg were halted briefly while they looked for him in a railway tunnel.
A spokesperson for non-profit organization Missing People, which is involved in the search efforts, said around 3,000 people – a record number – had got in touch to volunteer to help.
“Falkenberg is a small town, so many people have a relation to the 12-year-old or know someone who knows him,” Jörgen Olsson told Swedish broadcaster TV4. “Local businesses have brought soup and supplies and children have been baking cookies for those who are looking for the boy.”
Police divers searched a nearby river on Thursday. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT
There were no immediate signs the boy had fallen victim to a crime, but police have nonetheless launched an investigation into kidnapping. They said the reason was that because they did not know where he was or how he had gone missing, a formal probe made it easier to investigate.
Dante was dressed in a blue coat with a hood and black shoes at the time of his disappearance. He is around 140 centimetres tall, slim and with blond hair to his ears. Police urged anyone based in Sweden with information of his whereabouts to contact the national police telephone 114 14.