A 7-year-old autistic boy who went missing on May 24 was found dead in a pond near his home several hours later, according to police.
The boy, who has not yet been identified, was reported missing from his home in Kentucky at about 9:50 p.m. on May 24, according to Kentucky State Police Post 5 spokesman Steven Dykes, reported Courier-Journal.
Missing 7-year-old Kentucky boy with autism found dead in pond, police say https://t.co/UENYzfVxV9
— Courier Journal (@courierjournal) May 25, 2019
After various state agencies searched for the boy, he was found by members of the Louisville Metro Police Dive Team at around 3:40 a.m. on May 25. The child was pronounced dead by Henry County Coroner.
“It is a sad and terrible outcome to lose this young man,” Dykes told the news station in a statement. “We are truly thankful and appreciative to all of the different agencies that assisted the Kentucky State Police in searching for him.”
“It is certainly not the outcome we ever hope to have, but we can be certain that by joined efforts, every effort was made to find him when every moment counts. Please keep this young man, his family and all those that assisted in the search for him in your thoughts and prayers,” the spokesman added.
Police say an autopsy of the boy will occur in due course. They have not released further details about how the boy became missing.
Missing Children Cases
The boy’s parents were subsequently charged with child endangerment and recklessly endangering the welfare of a child and appeared in court for their arraignment on May 8.
Police said at the time the boy disappeared his mother was asleep, while his father was cooking. It is unclear how the boy got away.
The boy and his four other children from the house are currently placed in their grandmother’s custody.
Neighbor John Allen told ABC News that it was hard to believe this could happen to the family as the parents seem to be decent people.
“I don’t know how he even got out of the house,” Allen told the news station.
“I understand she might be sleeping cause she works night work, so that’s the part that’s mind-boggling.”
According to the FBI, there were over 424,000 National Crime Information Center entries of missing children in 2018.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said they have assisted law enforcement in more than 25,000 cases in 2018. Of those, four percent of cases are family abductions, while 92 percent are endangered runaways.