Autopsy Confirms Jayden Morrison’s Cause Of Death Was Drowning, Elopement Common With Autism Diagnosis

As originally reported by WMBF, the body of missing 4-year-old Jayden Morrison was found in a pond Friday, Horry County Coroner Robert Edge confirmed. His body was found two days after rescue crews began the search.

An autopsy performed Friday, confirmed the child drowned, Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said. Edge said Jayden died shortly after he was reported missing.

The pond where police found the body is located behind a home off Vermillion Drive. Jayden’s family is at a home off Sultana Drive, the pond sits in between the houses. The pond is located 10 homes down from where he was staying, police say the 4-year-old was wearing the pajamas he went missing in.

Police said his body surfaced after coming across some type of mound underwater.

During a news conference Friday, Horry County Lieutenant Raul Denis said it appeared Jayden died due to drowning.

Investigators said Jayden’s body was found while the water levels in the pond were lowered. A medic volunteer found the child’s body.

Autism Speaks profiled the story of the missing boy, stating that the Morrison family of White Plains, N.Y., was visiting family in Little River, S.C. when Jayden wandered away. According to his grandmother, in minutes Jayden was gone and she noticed the front door was left slightly open. The pond where Jayden’s body was found is 10 houses away from where he was staying.

When word got out about Jayden’s disappearance, neighbors, police, and strangers banded together to search for him. A retired firefighter even donated his personal drone to rescue efforts.

More than half of children diagnosed with autism wander or “elope,” according to a study by the IAN Project that was published on the website of Autism Speaks. The article detailed the results of a survey conducted by the IAN Project in 2011. One finding states that the tendency of individuals with ASD to wander or “bolt” puts them at risk of trauma, injury or even death.

  • More than one third of children who elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number verbally or by writing/typing
  • Two in three parents report their missing children had a “close call” with a traffic injury
  • 32% of parents report a “close call” with a possible drowning

About 1 in 68 children will be identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring. An average of 25 percent of children with ASD will be non-verbal or have limited communication skills.

WMBF reports that the Horry County Sheriff’s Office posted this statement on its Facebook page:

“As the sun has set on a very difficult day here, Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson and the men and women of the Horry County Sheriff’s Office grieve for the family of 4 year old Jayden Morrison. Things in life change so very quickly and none of us are promised tomorrow. Having that in mind, hug and kiss your children a little extra tonight. Tell them how special they, tell them you are proud of them, just love them more than you ever have. Put whatever you may have going on in your life aside, count your blessings and remember how fortunate you are. Tonight, not only do we think about Jayden’s family, but all of those families who have had a child called home far to soon. The Horry County Sheriff’s Office cares about each and every one of you and is honored to serve you. God Bless you all.”

For assistance with a diagnosis of autism and for resources to prevent elopement or any other needs, please click here.

Read more about Jayden Morrison on the Inquistr.

Click link below for video regarding coverage from WBTV.

[Image: WBTV]

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