The body of missing 2-year-old Leroy J. Toppins was discovered on March 4 at around 7 p.m. in an abandoned pond adjacent to his family’s home in Washington Court House, Ohio.
According to Daily Mail, Leroy was last seen Friday playing outside with his siblings in the front yard. Shortly after, he disappeared.
When his mother – whose name has not been released as of yet – went in search of him, she couldn’t find him and immediately reported him missing shortly after 6 p.m.
Frantic and desperate to find her baby boy, she informed neighbors, family, and friends that her son went missing.
Without hesitation, a search team was developed the following day that consisted of 100 locals, friends, and family who searched areas near the home to find Leroy, which took all day.
The Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth stated the area was rather difficult to search as the “creek lines where the volunteers are working are very steep. A lot of brush, a lot of trees and, of course, this time of year the water is up high so we have a lot of things in the water.”
However, at around 7 p.m., their search for the missing toddler came to a poignant end when his body was discovered in an abandoned pond – Sugar Creek Stone Quarry – next to the family’s home.
Divers discovered the boy submerged under three feet of water. He was pronounced dead at the scene by an onsite coroner.
Officials say since it had been raining in the small town, it caused the abandoned pond to fill with water. Had it not rained, the “pond wouldn’t have been there” and little Leroy may not have drowned.
Although a full investigation has not been conducted, police oofficers do not suspect foul play.
“At this point there’s nothing to indicate foul play,” Stanforth said who spoke with reporters at WLWT5.
“The family has been extremely throughout the process. We believe the child merely just wandered away and got too close to the water. We’re never equipped to deal with death regardless of where it is, it’s especially troubling when you have a small baby.”
Investigators believe the toddler wondered off by himself during the time he was playing outside with his siblings.
An autopsy will be performed on Leroy in Montgomery County to determine the cause of death and to ensure no foul play, but the date has not been released.