TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A missing 1-year-old boy from Crescent City, Florida, was found dead on Monday, according to authorities.
Putnam County Sheriff Homer “Gator” DeLoach said deputies found Jose Lara dead in a ground-level septic tank that was overgrown with weeds and dirt on the family’s property.
The sheriff said it appeared the child accidentally fell through a board that was on top of the septic tank while playing in the family’s backyard.
“We made the decision out of an overabundance of caution to drain the septic tank on the property directly behind me,” DeLoach said. “As a contractor arrived and began probing, one of our investigators saw an area that was overgrown that had a spot that had been disturbed.”
After draining the tank, the child’s body was found.
The sheriff said prior to finding the child in the tank, deputies searched several bodies of water around the home. The ground search covered up to 2 square miles, according to DeLoach.
“Tonight, if you’re so inclined, please pray for not only the family, but the first responders who came and gave selflessly of themselves and volunteered their own time to come and look for this child,” he said.
The investigation in Jose’s death is still ongoing.