(WFLA/WOOD) – UPDATE | Authorities say a 5-year-old Michigan boy who went missing on Christmas Day was found dead on Thursday.
Beau Belson’s body was found shortly after noon under the ice in a pond next to his grandmother’s house, Michigan State Police said.
MSP Lt. David Cope said there would be a death investigation, but there was no immediate indication of anything suspicious.
“We’re not sure at this point if he just wandered into the water, fell in, we’re not sure at this point,” Cope said.
Beau went missing around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday while playing outside with his family at his grandmother’s home in the area of Fleck and Holland roads in Belvidere Township, east of Six Lakes. The family realized Beau was gone when they went inside. When they couldn’t find him, they called police.
About 1,000 volunteers turned out Wednesday to comb the area. Professionals, including an MSP helicopter and drones in the air and a sonar unit on the water, continued working overnight. Hundreds more volunteers returned to look for Beau after the sun rose Thursday.
Crews searched atop the ice Wednesday, but there wasn’t a search under the ice until the MSP Marine Services Team, which is ice-certified, went out Thursday.
Lt. Cope explained that the Marine Services Team is made up of troopers from several posts around the state.
He said the large volunteer turnout was evidence of the close-knit community.
“Thank you for the support and thank you for the help to help to try to find this young boy,” Cope told searchers. “I just wish I had better news.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
ORIGINAL STORY | Police and a swarm of volunteers in western Michigan searched Thursday for a 5-year-old boy in pajamas who was reported missing while playing outdoors on Christmas.
Beau Belson, who is autistic, was last seen Wednesday afternoon in the Six Lakes area, 56 miles (90 kilometers) northeast of Grand Rapids, the Montcalm County sheriff’s department said.
“Chances are he’s wet and cold, and we want to find him as soon as possible,” said Lt. David Cope of the state police.
Searchers worked through the night in the rural region, and more volunteers reported Thursday. State police sent helicopters and drones.
Beau was wearing a jacket, boots and dinosaur pajamas while playing outdoors with other people.
“It’s been unseasonably warm for late December, so that is definitely in our favor as far as hopefully finding (Beau) in a timely manner,” Cope said. “Of course, temperatures did dip down close to freezing last night. Any person, regardless of age, you don’t want them being alone in the wilderness for several hours at a time, especially in the 30-degree weather range.”
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