Wesley Hilaire is dead, according to KTLA-TV 5 in Los Angeles.
The station reports Wesley Hilaire’s body was found just hours after an Amber Alert was issued for the 4-year-old.
The Inquisitr reported Sunday the Amber Alert issued for Wesley Hilaire, which at the time had been reported as an abduction.
“The abduction happened during a family outing in the Mission Bay area of San Diego. The Amber alert page for the boy adds that the abduction happened at around 7:30 p.m., local time. Police officials have said that Wesley was last seen with a black man, aged around 40 and nearly 6 feet tall. The man weighed around 235 pounds, and was wearing a gray t-shirt. As for the boy, he was wearing red shorts and no shirt. The boy is 4 feet 2 inches tall, and weighs 40 pounds. An image of the boy has also been posted on the Amber alert web page.”
But reports that Welsey Hilaire were with a man who had abducted him proved to be unfounded, according to KTLA, which reported the child was found floating in San Diego’s Mission Bay Sunday. The cause of death is believed to be drowning, according to police who spoke with the station.
As for how police came to believe Hilaire had been abducted, KTLA said police are blaming the move on a “bad lead.”
The station said Hilaire’s body was discovered about 100 yards offshore using sonar.
Grief was nearly instant, with tweets arriving from all over.
Shelley Zimmerman with the San Diego Police tweeted, “All of us @SanDiegoPD wanted to find Wesley safe. Our heartfelt condolences&prayers to the family. Thank you to everyone who helped search.”
Twitter user Courtney Van Horn said, “New reports say Wesley Hilaire may have accidentally drowned. My heart still breaks for his family’s loss. I can’t imagine..”
The sentiments were shared by user Lyndsay Winkley, who wrote, “My heart aches for this family. Such devastating news. Body of 4 y.o. Wesley Hilaire found in Mission Bay.”
Some wondered how Hilaire ended up in Mission Bay in the first place, like Twitter user Whitney-Miller, who tweeted, “It doesn’t appear that the adults were monitoring the kids. What a tragic outcome. Wesley Hilaire…RIP.”
But in spite of questions that remain, the overwhelming sentiment has been grief over Welsey Hilaire being found dead and the family left behind to deal with the pain, with Twitter user Renzo saying, “RIP to Wesley Hilaire (The 4 year old boy from the Amber Alert today). They found his body at Mission Bay. Rest in peace little one.”