The body of five-year-old Jerold Joseph Williams of Colorado City, Arizona who was reported missing five days, ago was found dead in the wilderness, and an autopsy report shows that he more than likely died from environmental exposure.
According to the Daily Mail, Jerold and his family were residing at a campsite about “12 miles south of Jacob Lake in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest” when Jerold’s mother decided to stray 100 yards from the campsite with her son.
She last saw him chasing grasshoppers as he ran ahead, but soon lost sight of him at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. The worried mother went in search of her son, but when four hours past and there was still no sign of little Jerold, she immediately contacted Arizona police, reported the FOX 13.
A search team of 400 people took part in finding the missing boy, including military helicopters, ATVs, search dogs, as well as night vision equipment. However, the five-day search came to a poignant end when the missing boy was found dead on Monday around 6 p.m. in the wilderness.
Volunteers found the missing Arizona boy fully clothed and without external injuries. It appeared he had found a path to the service road in Kaibab National Forest and attempted to head back to the campsite, but sources say he may have gotten tired and lied down to rest and never woke up.
Gerry Blair who is the spokesperson for the county sheriff’s office said that “Because Jerold was found close to the road and the road would have been a natural walking area for him compared to the very thick brush, it is believed that Jerold probably found his way to Forest Road 240 and followed it to Forest Road 241 in the direction away from the campsite and may have walked off into the forest to lay down to rest.”
The boy’s remains were taken to the Coconino County Medical Examiner the following day to perform an autopsy and uncover how the child may have died. His results concluded that he died from environmental exposure and it was determined that Jerold may not have been alive in the wilderness for more than a day, according to his post mortem results.
“The weather had turned inclement early during the time he was missing” and it “appear to be an accidental death due to environmental exposure,” according to the medical examiner. “Based on the environmental conditions Jerold was exposed to, it is unlikely he survived the first night.”
Foul play is not suspected in the death Jerold Joseph Williams.
[Image via Coconino County Sheriff’s Office]