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Palm Beach County school mourns loss of 5-year-old boy found dead in waterway

Ribbons showing a picture of Dahud Jolicoeur at Connections Education Center in Palm Beach County on Sept. 12, 2022.jpg
Posted at 2:32 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 16:10:59-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — It was an emotional day Monday at the Palm Beach County school where a 5-year-old boy — who was found dead in a waterway over the weekend — attended.

Dahud Jolicoeur, who had autism and was non-verbal, was found dead in a waterway near his home in Royal Palm Beach, a few hours after he went missing.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said there are no charges pending against Jolicoeur's family.

At Connections Education Center on Monday, staff and his friends wore blue in Jolicoeur's memory, as well as ribbons with his picture on them. The school also had grief counselors on site throughout the day.

Teachers said it's an unfortunate reality that kids on the autism spectrum are drawn to water.

Jolicoeur had taken one swimming lesson with them since starting school a few months ago and he loved the water.

"It was hard for me and for all of us to come in today," said Debra Johnson at Connections Education Center. "Our swim program is named after a previous student that we had that also passed away in a drowning incident. So it really hits home again for all of us."

Connections Education Center is planning swim trainings for parents with Florida Atlantic University's Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. For more information, call 561-213-5751 or click here.