Toddler found in septic tank after vanishing from his backyard

Toddler found in septic tank after vanishing from his backyard

A missing 1-year-old Florida boy was discovered dead in a septic tank on his family’s property in what’s believed to be a tragic accident, authorities said.

The body of Jose Lara, who was reported missing from his Crescent City home Sunday, was found submerged in a septic tank Monday about 105 feet from the residence, Putnam County Sheriff H.D. DeLoach told reporters.

An investigation is ongoing, but there’s no evidence to indicate any foul play. Investigators believe the boy stepped on the septic tank’s rotted cover made of plywood, dirt and weeds and fell in, DeLoach said.

“After he fell in, it appears as though there was I guess some spring in the board itself and it almost came back in the same position that it would have been originally,” the sheriff said.

The 22-month-old boy was last seen in his family’s backyard while playing with his sister. His mother took the girl into the home and returned to find Jose gone, DeLoach said.

Jose Lara’s body was found near his home after he was reported missing.
Facebook/Putnam County Sheriff’s

Investigators decided to drain the ground-level septic tank early Monday after dozens of deputies used canines and helicopters to locate find the missing boy.

“It’s not an uncommon practice in a situation like this when there’s a child missing to search the septic tank as well,” DeLoach said. “At that point it was unfortunately when we discovered the child’s body.”

The pastor of a church next to the boy’s home told WJXT his mother had recently moved to Florida from Honduras.

Authorities at the scene
Lara’s death is believed to be an accident, according to authorities.
Facebook/Putnam County Sheriff’s
Authorities give press conference
The 22-month-old’s body was found in a septic tank.
Facebook/Putnam County Sheriff’s

“Horrible for this family,” Pastor Albert Gutierrez told the station. “There’s no words.”

An autopsy will be conducted Tuesday to determine the boy’s cause of death, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Allison Waters-Merritt said Tuesday.

“At this point, there’s nothing to indicate any suspicious behavior,” she told The Post. “It looks like a tragic accident.”

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