The body of a missing 5-year-old boy with autism was found in a river in Washington state. He had been missing since September.
The Yakima Police Department said that Lucian Munguia’s body parts were found Thursday by a person walking their dog near the Yakima River.
The nonverbal boy’s body was identified by an autopsy on Friday. He was last seen at Yakima’s Sarg Hubbard Park on September 10.
After looking at dental records side by side, police investigators and the county coroner’s office agreed that the bodies are those of the 5-year-old.
Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said on Friday that the boy drowned in the river by accident and that there was no sign of foul play.
Police have also said they do not believe any criminal acts led to the boy’s de*ath. They will provide additional details once DNA testing is completed.
Everyone in the community worked together to try to find Lucian after he went missing on September 10. His family told the police that he was missing 15 minutes after they started looking for him, which led to a huge search.
Yakima Deputy Fire Chief D.J. Goldsmith helped with the search and said that because of the way the river is, the search for Lucian that lasted almost four months was not unusual.
Goldsmith said, “Even though we do everything we can to find things, including using infrared drones, there are so many branches and places where things can get stuck.”
The police haven’t said how his family lost track of him. Rescue workers from several nearby counties looked for the boy in the park, along the river, and in the area around it.
An FBI dive team did a thorough search of the park’s pond and other nearby bodies of water. Volunteers and Lucian’s family kept looking for the boy even after the police slowed down their search.
During the search, someone could get $10,000 for information that helped find Lucian.
Police offered their condolences to the boy’s loved ones in the wake of the tragic discovery.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Lucian,” police said.