NBC-Bay Area: A 4-year-old autistic boy from New York who vanished from his grandmother’s house in South Carolina Christmas Eve has been found dead, officials told NBC’s Myrtle Beach affilate WMBF News.
The body of Jayden Morrison, of White Plains, was found around 11 a.m. Friday in a retention pond behind two homes in Little River, not far from where he went missing less than 48 hours earlier, officials with the Horry County Police Department said. He apparently drowned.
The boy, who had last been seen wearing only his pajamas, was found by a medic volunteer. He was still wearing his pajamas when his body was recovered.
Hundreds of emergency workers and volunteers searched through Christmas Day for the little boy. His mother had left him with his grandmother while she went to Wal-Mart Wednesday evening, and when the grandmother turned her back for a moment, the child was gone, police said.
Divers searched ponds in a 5-square mile area near the community between Myrtle Beach and the North Carolina border. Drones, helicopters and four-wheelers also were used in the search.
From left, Jayden Morrison’s grandmother, Carolyn Sumpter, father, Andre Morrison and mother Tabatha Morrison look on as emergency crews and volunteers look for their missing child.(Source: All New York News)
The child’s mother, Tabatha Morrison, told WMBF News Thursday that the family arrived at her mother’s house on Christmas Eve from New York and pleaded for help in finding him.
“He’s never been out of our eyesight, he’s never walked out of the door before,” the mother said with tears in her eyes. “And they’ve searched everywhere. Where could he be?”
She had said her son was non-communicative and likely would not be able to find his way home because he was not familiar with his grandmother’s neighborhood.
The mother said that Jayden’s twin, Jordan, stayed up until 4 a.m. Christmas morning waiting for his brother to return home. The child’s father also joined the search Thursday.
County Coroner confirmed the body found in a pond Friday morning is Jayden Morrison.His family had been visiting South Carolina for the holidays and had only arrived Wednesday morning – hours before he apparently walked out the front door.
This story is on-going. Please check back with the Inquistr for updates concerning the death of Jayden Morrison. For additional information about autism, please visit autismspeaks.org. For another story related to autism spectrum disorder, please click here.
[ Photo Credit: WMBF News ]