Missing one-year-old boy is found dead in septic tank at family’s home
Police do not suspect foul play - but the investigation is still active.
The body of a one-year-old boy who went missing in Florida has been found in a septic tank in his family's garden, police have confirmed.
Jose Lara went missing on Sunday afternoon. He had last been seen playing with his sister outside their house in Crescent City, about an hour from Daytona Beach.
Jose's mum had taken his sister inside to clean her up. When she got back, Jose was missing, a statement from Putnam County Sheriff's Office said. The toy truck that he had been playing on was still in the yard.
According to multiple outlets, search efforts began that day. When bloodhounds were unable to find the boy, the team started to look at an area covered with weeds, dirt and plywood. Soon, they were cleaning up a septic tank, which was then drained.
At a press conference on Monday night, Putnam County Sheriff HD Gator DeLoach said: "It’s my unfortunate task today to tell you that the search for Jose Lara has ended with the recovery of Jose’s body."
This is a cancellation to the Florida Missing Child Alert. With sadness, the child has been found deceased. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Putnam County community. If you would like further info, please call the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, 386-329-0801. https://t.co/199YnXDof3
— FDLE (@fdlepio) March 28, 2022
The septic tank was located just 40 yards from the house. It was covered with rotted plywood and the child is believed to have stepped on it and fallen in.
"Underneath the layer of dirt, there was a piece of plywood that had been there for some time and appeared it had rotted to the extent so that when he stepped on it, he actually fell in," DeLoach said.
An investigation is underway, but Sheriff DeLoach said that currently police believe "there’s nothing to indicate at this point that there was any type of foul play suspected."
Florida police said their thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Putnam County community at this time.