Authorities say missing boy, 6, found dead in retention pond

Posted at 12:36 PM, Aug 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-05 19:05:16-04

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities said a missing 6-year-old special needs boy was found dead in a retention pond behind his home late Friday night.

Polk County Sheriff officials said in a news release that Adam Roach of Lakeland was found in a pond directly behind his home at 10:40 p.m. Friday by the Polk County Sheriff's Office dive team and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

On Twitter, the Polk County Sheriff's Office posted the outcome of the ongoing search.

"We are completely & utterly heartbroken that we did not find Adam alive. Please pray for little Adam and his family," the agency wrote.

Authorities say Roach was reported missing by his mother at 4 p.m. Friday after he'd walked away from the Carlton Arms apartments in south Lakeland. Sheriff officials say Roach was a nonverbal special needs child who also was partially deaf.

An investigation is planned and an autopsy is expected.

No further information was immediately available.

The child may have wandered away from home to find a swimming pool he saw with his grandmother while they were taking a walk Friday morning, authorities said.

Judd had called on the community to help find the 6-year-old special needs boy who had been missing since Friday afternoon.

The Lakeland Ledger reported that Adam, who was hard of hearing and functioned on about an 18-month-old level, walked away from his home in the gated community.