The body of a 4-year-old autistic boy, who was reported missing on December 24, after visiting his family in Little River, South Carolina, for the holidays, has been found dead. The child, Jayden Morrison (pictured) was discovered in a retention pond not far from his grandmother’s house, where he wandered off. According to Horry County police, the boy appeared to have drowned states WMBF News.
He was last seen sporting red-and-orange footie pajamas, and he disappeared at around 6 pm. Emergency teams made up of police, K-9 units, first responders, dive team, helicopter rescue squads and nearly 100 residents scoured a five-to-ten mile radius for the boy, who was non-verbal and therefore could not respond to his name. Jayden was at his grandmother’s home while his mom, Tabatha Morrison, went shopping for Christmas gifts at a nearby Wal-Mart. According to police, the grandmother did not realize that the door was left open, when Jayden slipped out.
Police did not suspect the boy was abducted.
Morrison told The Sun News, “He’s never done anything like this before. He’s 4 years old. He’s never been out of my eyesight.” The frantic mom also told the news outlet that since the boy, who has a twin brother named Jordan, is not familiar with his grandmother’s area, was not likely that he will know his way back to the home.
There are nearby lakes and retention ponds in the area where Jayden went missing. Divers searched the bodies of water, and the fire department used an infrared system to check to see if any masses were in the water.
Divers discovered Jayden’s lifeless body in a retention pond behind two homes located about ten residences down from his grandmother’s house in the rural area north of Myrtle Beach. His body surfaced after lowering a pond’s water levels.