Missing autistic child's body found, cause of death under investigation

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POSTED: Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 9:03pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 11:13am

Louisiana State Police are investigating a suspicious death in West Baton Rouge Parish. Troopers said the body of a 5-year-old missing autistic boy was found on the side of US190 east of 415. Investigators revisited the scene Saturday still searching for clues as to what happened to the child.

On December 14, the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office contacted Louisiana State Police asking for assistance in searching for a missing juvenile. WBRSO stated that at approximately 9:15 p.m. they received a report that a 5-year-old juvenile black male was missing from a Christmas party on North River Rd. in Port Allen.

Upon realizing that the juvenile (who is autistic) was missing, guests at the party searched the immediate area but were unable to locate the child. Upon learning of the incident, WBRSO (along with Troop A, LSP Air Support, Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, and numerous volunteers) conducted a thorough search of the area to no avail.

On December 15, shortly before 1:00 a.m., a volunteer firefighter who was searching for the juvenile discovered the body of the child. The deceased juvenile was located in the grass beyond the westbound shoulder of US 190 east of LA 415, approximately two miles from the location of the Christmas party on North River Rd. Troop A assumed lead in the investigation, and the State Police Crime Lab was called to process the scene.

Neighbors nearby heard the search. They said the sound of a woman wailing could carried across the highway.

"I heard a helicopter," Brenda F. Socin, who lives nearby, said. "I mean it wasn't nothing normal you know. Then all of a sudden, I heard four wheelers. It was like more than one. What are hunters doing out this time of night."

"The traffic was passing real slow," according to Socin. "Must of had about fourteen police cars, an ambulance, a wrecker. I didn't know what was going on."

It is unknown at this time how the juvenile came to be at the location on US 190 approximately two miles away from North River Rd., or how the juvenile was killed. Foul play is not considered a factor, but has not been ruled out at this point.

An autopsy has been scheduled by the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office. Troop A, LSP Detectives, the LSP Crime Lab and WBRSO are following all investigative leads and examining all evidence in order to determine the cause of the juveniles' death. Anyone that may have any information concerning this incident is urged to contact Troop A at (225) 754-8500.

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