Child's Death Ruled Accidental Drowning
Autopsy results show 9 year old Leo Walker of Live Oak drowned, and police say it was accidental. Despite the tragedy, residents of the community say they gained something positive in the search process.
"Everybody pretty much worked together," says Live Oak resident Peggy Brown. Bringing closure toa family and community is one of the positives residents of Live Oak have found in the loss of Leo Walker.
Brown says, "I mean, it's just not the outcome that we wanted, but I'm glad he was found." Police say the autistic 9 year old accidentally drowned in a swampy area less than three blocks from his home. The Live Oak Police Chief says there will be no further criminal investigation. He adds it was not a surprise to investigators that they found him in a body of water.
Live Oak Police Chief Buddy Williams says, "One of the characteristics is that autistic children love water. Matter of fact, one of the groups at the vigil last night said that ninety to ninety plus percent of children with autism that run away and are found deceased is in a body of water."
But from the ashes of tragedy, some good has sprung forth. Chief Williams says the community search effort was amazing. He states, "I've been in law enforcement twenty eight years, and it was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen."
Hundreds of volunteers helped look for Leo, and by coming together, Williams says the community found strength, saying, "We live in a world where all we hear is the negative, and I really think there's always light at the end of the tunnel, and I think this tragedy helped this community realize that sometimes there are more things important than the world's troubles."
Leo's family will hold a memorial service to celebrate his life on Friday, and his funeral will be held Saturday at 3PM in White Springs.
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