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Toddler Found Dead in a Septic Tank A Day After He Went Missing While Playing in the Backyard
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Toddler Found Dead in a Septic Tank A Day After He Went Missing While Playing in the Backyard

The sheriff’s office is calling the boy’s death a tragic accident of “unimaginable loss.”

Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | D-Keine

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 30, 2022. It has since been updated.

The body of a one-year-old boy who went missing was found a day later, in a septic tank in his own yard. He was last seen playing with his sister at noon, on March 27, 2022. 

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The sheriff’s office says the septic tank, just 40 yards from the home, was covered in weeds, dirt, and plywood and that it appears the boy stepped on the rotted plywood and fell in, per CBS Miami.

Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach said in a news conference that the boy was not immediately found because of all the rubbish that was covering the opening to the septic tank, per PEOPLE.

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“It was at that point, that some of our detectives and the contractor removed some of the debris and dirt that was surrounding the cleanout, at which point they began to process a septic tank and found Jose’s body submerged,” said Sheriff DeLoach.



 

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"It's not an uncommon practice in a situation like this when there's a child missing to search the septic tank as well," DeLoach added, according to News4Jax.com. "Actually one of our leadership team members that made the call to drain the septic tank. At that point, it was unfortunately when we discovered the child's body."

The sister did not witness what had happened because Jose's mom had taken his sibling inside briefly to get her cleaned up. When the mother and daughter returned, they found the little one gone. The toy truck he was playing with was still in the yard, but there was no sign of the toddler.

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The sheriff’s office is calling the boy’s death a tragic accident of “unimaginable loss.”

On the day the boy went missing, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement put out a missing person's alert with the caption: "Please share this post! A Florida MISSING CHILD Alert has been issued for 1-year-old Jose Lara, last seen in Crescent City, Florida. If you have any information about this child, please contact the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at 386-329-0801 or 911."



 

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To find the child, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office confirmed that a massive search effort was underway. Authorities were using bloodhounds, drones, helicopters, and night-vision tools.

But once the little one was confirmed to be dead, the account put out another announcement, sharing that Jose had unfortunately passed. "This is a cancellation to the Florida Missing Child Alert. With sadness, the child has been found deceased. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Putnam County community. If you would like further info, please call the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, 386-329-0801."

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The sheriff's office says that there is no indication of foul play, but that the investigation is ongoing.

 

References:

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2022/03/28/body-missing-florida-boy-jose-lara-found-septic-tank/

https://people.com/human-interest/body-of-missing-florida-toddler-jose-lara-found-in-septic-tank/

https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2022/03/28/1-year-old-jose-laras-body-found-in-putnam-county/

Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | D-Keine