La Vista Police Chief fighting subpoena for testimony in Ryan Larsen case

Ryan’s mother wants to declare the boy, missing since May 2021, as ‘presumed dead’
Ryan Larsen, left; and La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten
Ryan Larsen, left; and La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten(WOWT)
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 10:27 AM CST
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten is fighting a subpoena compelling him to testify Tuesday in a hearing that seeks to declare Ryan Larsen “presumed dead.”

The 11-year-old boy disappeared on May 17, 2021, after leaving La Vista West Elementary School. His mother, Tammi Larsen, filed a petition on Jan. 10 in Sarpy County Court to have Ryan presumed dead because of the care he needed as a child with autism.

On Friday, Lausten filed a motion in Sarpy County Court to quash the subpoena saying that the search for Ryan and the criminal investigation into his disappearance are ongoing, and that certain information about the case must remain confidential in order to uphold the integrity of the investigation.

But an affidavit from Ryan’s mother, notarized on Dec. 5, states that La Vista Police Detective Greg Carrico told Tammi Larsen in November 2022 that LVPD was no longer pursuing an active investigation and had handed the matter over to the Omaha Police Department’s Cold Case Unit, saying that any progress in the case at that point would be “recovery efforts.”

Tammi Larsen’s petition also outlines fault for Ryan’s disappearance, laying the blame on the school and the district, claiming that a La Vista Elementary School employee saw him leave but that “no immediate action was taken by the school to prevent him from leaving school grounds” or retrieve him.

Larsen also states in the petition that she intends to file a claim against Papillion-La Vista Public Schools saying the personal injury and death were caused by the negligence or wrongful act of the school district.

In her amended petition, his mother explains that she needs a death certificate in order to make a claim against La Vista Elementary.

According to the document: “Just before he exited the building, employees of the La Vista Elementary School, saw Ryan Larsen at school. No immediate action was taken to prevent him from exiting the school doors. Nor was any immediate action taken to retrieve him from outside the school building. Ryan Larsen has not been seen since that time.”

The document also notes that the boy with autism needs watchful care.

“Unless Ryan Larsen is under the supervision of a suitable caretaker, his medical conditions prevent him from exercising the necessary self-care to sustain his own life,” the document states.

Reporters Marlo Lundak and Brian Mastre and Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this story.