A 7-year-old boy with autism who had gone missing in Central Texas was found dead at the bottom of a pond near his house this past weekend.
Jesus Castellanos-Carreon went missing Sunday afternoon.
After finding signs suggesting he had wandered off towards a large pond near their house in Elgin, Texas, parents Felipe Castellanos and Blanca Carreon-Antonio called the police.
Jesus had been with a family dog in their backyard before disappearing, cousin Jasmine Frias told the Austin American-Statesman.
The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders scoured the area, eventually finding the dog standing next to a pond at a private ranch off of U.S. Route 290, according to KXAN-TV.
An Austin Police Department water team then found Jesus’ body submerged in 5 feet of water Sunday evening. The water was 56 degrees, and the cold temperature may have contributed to Jesus’ death, Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook told KXAN-TV.
The sheriff’s office said Jesus’ autism may have caused him to wander off to the pond in the first place.
“It is not uncommon for autistic children to be attracted to water such as ponds, pools, and water tanks,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a post on Facebook, referring to a phenomenon also known as elopement.
Educational consultant Christie Mandeville told USA Today that this is “one of the primary concerns with students with autism when they elope.
“Unfortunately, you will hear many times on the news about how a person has gone missing from home, and then you’ll find out they were found in a lake or a pond or a swimming pool,” she added, referring to a similar case last month in Michigan.