AFTER a frantic search for a missing one-year-old, the body of Jose Lara was found on Monday afternoon.
“It’s my unfortunate task today to tell you that the search for Jose Lara has ended with the recover of Jose’s body,” said Putnam County Sheriff HD Gator DeLoach.
The little boy had left his own yard Sunday afternoon and a search quickly went underway with bloodhound teams trying to find him.
After initial efforts failed, authorities started looking around an area covered in the brush near where a septic tank was located.
The area had been covered at some point in the past with a piece of wood.
“Underneath the layer of dirt there was a piece of plywood that had been there for some time and appeared it had rotted to the extent so that when he stepped on it, he actually fell in,” said DeLoach.
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Despite the discovery of the boy’s body, DeLoach said the investigation is still ongoing. However, it doesn’t appear that foul play was involved.
“We were here last night to help out if we can find him, but we couldn’t,” Eric Jimenez told WESH2.
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Neighbors and strangers had arrived to help look for the boy once his family said that he had wandered off. Jose’s mother was tending to another child inside their home at the time.
“I didn’t go to work, I said I’ve got to do something for this family,” said Janet Arce.
The news of the boy’s death hit everyone hard.
“As a community, this is the time for us to get together and support each other,” Arce added.
Over 120 first responders joined in the search, hoping for the boy’s safe return, only for it to end in tragedy.
“We’re grieving with the family and ask for your prayers as they grieve this unimaginable loss of a son, a brother and a grandson,” said DeLoach.
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