The body of a missing Florida toddler has been found in a septic tank near his home, authorities said.
Jose Lara was seen leaving his backyard on Sunday with his sister. While his mom briefly took the girl inside to clean her up, the 22-month-old vanished, according to Putnam County Sheriff H.D. “Gator” DeLoach.
Deputies, neighbors and drones were all called in to search the area around Jacksonville, which is approximately 60 miles from Jacksonville.
Searchers located Jose’s body at the bottom of a septic tank 40 yards away from their family’s home after draining it.
DeLoach explained that the underground tank was covered in weeds and dirt. He reportedly fell into the hole after stepping on some rotting plywood.
“It’s my unfortunate task today to tell you that the search for Jose Lara has ended with the recovery of Jose’s body,” DeLoach said at a Monday press conference.
“We’re grieving with the family and ask for your prayers as they grieve this unimaginable loss of a son, a brother and a grandson,” DeLoach said. According to the sheriff, there was no evidence that would suggest foul play.
There were more than 120 people who searched for the child.
“I didn’t go to work, I said I’ve got to do something for this family,” said resident Janet Arce. “This is the time to come together as a community and support each other.”
Eric Jimenez arrived Sunday. “We were here last night to help out, if we can find him, but we couldn’t,” he said Monday.