Body of missing 2-year-old found in pond near family home

AP News
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Posted: Apr 05, 2015 11:40 AM

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (AP) — The body of a missing 2-year-old boy was found in a shallow pond near the child's southwest Ohio home after hundreds of people fanned out to search for him.

LeRoy Toppins' body was found around 7 p.m. Saturday, Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth said.

"We believe the child wandered away, got too close to the water and fell in," Stanforth said.

The Washington Court House Record Herald (http://bit.ly/1IAH2V2 ) reported that the pond, which is about 400 feet from the boy's home, is currently about 3 feet deep.

The sheriff said a searcher found the child's body on the bottom of the pond about three feet from shore.

Several hundred people had been searching for the child since his parents reported him missing around 6 p.m. Friday. The parents told authorities that the boy was playing outside near their house with siblings when he disappeared.

"There is no indication of foul play," Stanforth said after the body was found.

He said that the family had been outside with the child.

"He had his boundaries and unfortunately, something caused him to wander toward the body of water," Stanforth said. "The parents were near. it's not like they were somewhere else letting the child roam."

Stanforth said that several family members were also in a nearby barn.

"In my opinion, it was just a very tragic accident," Stanforth said.

He said the family had no immediate comment other than to thank the community for its support.

"But right now, they're just grappling with the idea that their baby is dead," he said.

Numerous fire and police agencies and volunteers searched for the boy. Divers checked waterways while others searched on foot, horseback and all-terrain vehicles. A State Highway Patrol helicopter also assisted.