Child Pleads For Help Through CB Radio

Cat Leigh
· 2 min read

While some believe ‘Lost Boy Larry’ was a hoax, those who spoke to the boy disagree.

CB Radio on table
CB Radio on table
Gratisography/Pexels.com

On August 7, 1973, a CB radio operator in California received a disturbing transmission. A seven-year-old, who said his name was Larry, claimed to be lost in New Mexico. The child’s sobbing coupled with the radio’s poor connection made it hard to understand what he was saying.

Nevertheless, he managed to tell the California man that he and his father had been out rabbit hunting when his father collapsed at the wheel. The red and white pickup truck landed upside down in a ditch. His father, who he believed had a heart attack, had not moved since the accident.

Over the next few days, several radio operators in New Mexico, California, Wyoming, and even in Canada, would speak to Larry. The child’s pleas for help were reported to authorities.


Hundreds of people gathered to search for the boy who they thought was somewhere in New Mexico’s central mountains. Military aircraft, with radio tracking devices, were also employed.

Authorities checked for any reported missing child named Larry or a father and son disappearance but there had been none.

A rescue worker in one of the search helicopters spoke to a young boy through the radio but he said his name was David, not Larry. At one point, Larry told an Albuquerque radio operator that he could see airplane searchlights that had flown over the Manzano Mountains, south of Albuquerque.

Larry seemed to have not known how to properly use a CB radio as he was abruptly changing channels. The signal had also weakened, likely due to low battery. The transmissions stopped after five days.

On August 13, the search was called off. Nevertheless, four directional finding stations were established in order to pick up any signals that could pinpoint the boy’s location.


Due to the lack of evidence, authorities suspected that the distress call had been a hoax. Though if a child had actually been lost, he would have likely died by then. Many don’t believe the radio’s batteries would have lasted as long as they did. Though this has been disputed as possible, they don’t believe the CB radio transmissions could have reached as far as California and Wyoming, let alone Canada.

However, the radio operators who spoke to Larry are adamant that it was a real child in need of help. One of them, an army sergeant, claims he spoke to Larry for three hours. Moreover, the search is said to have been poorly organized.

It has been suggested that the first transmission was from a real boy in danger, but that the remaining communications were from copycats.

46 years later, it is still unknown if Larry was a real child or just a cruel hoax.

True Crime by Cat Leigh

Unsolved true crime cases. Murders, disappearances, and unexplained deaths. Support this publication: ko-fi.com/catleigh

Cat Leigh

Written by

Cat Leigh

True Crime Writer • Support my work: ko-fi.com/catleigh • catarina.leigh@gmail.com

True Crime by Cat Leigh

Unsolved true crime cases. Murders, disappearances, and unexplained deaths. Support this publication: ko-fi.com/catleigh

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