Police recovered the body of missing 3-year-old Amari Edward Harley from an underground water storage tank after an hourslong search by more than 50 officers.
Harley vanished on Sunday, Oct. 22, from a family gathering in Bruce Park in Jacksonville, Florida, Fox News reported.
“We are heartbroken to release that the deceased body of Amari Harley has been located,” The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office wrote on Twitter.
— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) October 23, 2017
Investigators found the boy’s body in an underground tank used to store water for the park. The hatch was small enough for Harley to fall into, according to Action New Jax.
At 1 p.m. on Monday police called on the public for help in determining how Harley died.
Workers have removed covering. They appear to be trying to pull something out of the tank. pic.twitter.com/ZoWlkUNkC2
— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) October 23, 2017
“During the short investigation, we have attempted to make contact with everyone that was at the park during the time Amari went missing,” The sheriff’s office wrote in a statement. “We have spoken to numerous witnesses that were present, however, due to the size of the park and the multiple events going on at the time, we believe there are others that may have pertinent information that could assist detectives in this case.”
A local news channel recorded the moment the boy’s family and friends were informed of the death. Heart-wrenching screams followed as the shock of the news spread through the crowd.
— Kaitlyn Chana (@KaitlynANjax) October 23, 2017
On Monday, the boy’s family visited the park where his body was found. They said they have no idea how he got into the storage tank.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said his office will assist with the investigation and work to determine how Harley got into the water tank.
“We are incredibly saddened by this tragedy,” the mayor’s office wrote in a statement. “The city will also be inspecting how this tragedy occurred, to ensure that all city parks are safe and secure.”
On Monday, city workers placed new covers on the two hatches, which lead to the water tank.
Harley was at a birthday party before he went missing at around 3:30 p.m. The family searched for the boy but could not find him.
Police said they received a report that the boy was missing at 4:45 p.m. Authorities announced that the boy’s body was found at 8:45 p.m.
A person tipped off the investigators to check the water storage tank. Harley’s body was found when the tank was drained.