Thursday, May 26, 2022

Missing 18-month-old, Jose Lara Found D£ad In Septic Tank

The body of a missing 18-month-old boy in Putnam County was recovered Monday afternoon, Putnam County Sheriff H.D. “Gator” Deloach said in a news conference.

The boy, Jose Lara, was reported missing Sunday afternoon around 2:30 from his home in Crescent City near US Highway 17 South. Officials said he had wandered off while his mother had gone inside with another child.

After nearly 24 hours of searching, the sheriff’s office decided to drain a septic tank on the property, and that’s where the boy’s body was found, Deloach said. The tank was covered with some sort of “improvised covering” and surrounded by overgrowth, the sheriff said.

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Deloach said this is the “worst possible outcome” and asks everyone to pray for the boy’s family and for law enforcement officers involved in the search and recovery.

During a news conference Monday morning, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Col. Joe Wells said after interviewing family and friends, there were no red flags to indicate any type of foul play or criminal activity.

Although there is no sign of foul play in the boy’s death, the investigation into how he died is ongoing, the sheriff said.

An initial search Sunday found a toy truck 20 yards outside the immediate area where Jose had last been seen, Wells said.

There were three bloodhound teams working to find Jose Monday morning as a search and rescue effort, with the investigation going into the night overnight Sunday. The search area included two square miles of property next to a nearby fernery, Wells said.

The FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Volusia County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search for Jose. Aviation assets and wildlife teams helped to search the wooded areas where Jose was thought to have possibly wandered, investigators said.

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