Body found during search for Live Oak boy


According to WCTV, the body that was found in a pond has been identified as the missing 9-year-old Leo Walker's body.

"My appreciation to all of the law enforcement personnel and civilian volunteers who assisted in the search efforts for Leo," said Live Oak Police Chief Buddy Williams. "While we are saddened by the outcome of this case, we are thankful for the resources provided to our community during this tragedy."

LIVE OAK, Florida (First Coast News) -- Live Oak Police say they found a body in a pond near the area where volunteers and law enforcement are searching for missing 9-year-old Leo Walker.

Police Chief Buddy Williams could not confirm whether the body they found was Walker's.

Hundreds of volunteers came out to help search for the missing autistic boy. Thursday evening Williams said crews started pumping a nearby pond as part of search efforts. Friday, Williams said that's where they found the body.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a Missing Child Alert for Leo Walker, who went missing in the early morning on Wednesday. Walker was last seen in the 700 block of Duval Street.

MORE: FL Missing Child Alert issued for Live Oak boy

"Right now there are 12-13 law enforcement agencies involved," said Live Oak Chief of Police Buddy Williams said Thursday. Williams said that includes federal, state and local agencies. Helicopters, dog teams and about 200 volunteers are taking over the entire area and searching.

Walker's aunt, Laurie Brown, says he loves cartoons and the movie Cars.

"It's a nightmare but this just shows what a great community we have. People that I don't even know are out here and have been up all night looking for him," Brown said.

People like Kathy Clark. She's never met Leo, but says she won't stop looking.

"It make me feel sick to my stomach because it makes you wonder, how far can he wonder off in 15 minutes? You turn every corner and hope that he's sitting and crouched in a corner," Clark said.

Walker's aunts said the boy does not speak. They are worried about his safety and his medical condition. They said Walker takes medication for his autism.

"Leo is autistic, you know, he cant feel pain, can't talk, you know, so he's out there wandering, he can't tell anybody his name, where he lives or anything," said Brown.

Family and friends had a candlelight vigil for strength and hope Thursday night at the child's home.

"It's just pure hell. We don't know where he's at its just hell, we need to bring him home," said Bonnie Walker in tears, the boy's aunt.

Walker said many family have not slept since he went missing. She says the boy's mother is in shambles.

The conditions outside have been stormy at night and temperatures near 90 during the days, causing more of a concern for Leo's condition.

"I think any time you start talking about dehydration sure our mental disorientation can take place but you're also dealing with a special needs kid that it can happen quicker," said Chief Williams.


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