Missing 5-year-old autistic boy found dead in pond by his grandmother’s house

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(CNN) — The body of a 5-year-old autistic boy who went missing on Christmas Day was found in a pond near where he was last seen, Michigan State Police said Thursday.

Beau Belson was reported missing from his grandmother’s home, where he was playing in the yard with family, in Six Lakes, Michigan, at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Michigan State Police Lt. David Cope said.

He was found in a pond under the ice about 50 feet away from the home shortly after noon on Thursday, Cope said. Police are not sure whether he fell in the pond or went in there on his own, Cope said. His death is under investigation but as of now there is no foul play suspected, he said.

“We will continue to try and determine what led up to the boy ending up in the water,” Cope said.

Search and rescue personnel did not have the certifications required to dive under the ice, so the Marine Services Team of the state police was called on Thursday morning to do so, Cope said.

Montcalm County Central Dispatch said Beau was autistic but able to communicate.

There were close to 1,000 community volunteers who helped search for the boy Wednesday night, and several hundred who arrived Thursday morning to help with the search effort, Cope said.

“It was wonderful to see the community coming together,” Cope said, while noting the circumstances were tragic.

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