A 5-year-old Florida boy with autism wandered from his home and was located by authorities dead in a nearby pond on Thanksgiving morning.
Aaron Peña had been missing from his home in Orlando since the day before at around noon, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He was wearing dinosaur-print pajama pants and a brown shirt with a bear but no shoes at the time of his disappearance.
His mother, Melissa Stanton, said she noticed her son had gone missing when she did not hear him making any noise in the home.
“I wasn’t hearing any type of laughing sounds or him singing over and over — like, repetitive songs — he does that, or he’ll usually create a scenario where he’ll talk to himself about the birds and colors and songs that he watches on YouTube,” she told News 6.
Stanton looked through the entire house and saw that the back door had been left open. She explained that the door is usually latched and believes her son figured out how to unlock it.
Aaron’s body was discovered in the pond around 12 hours after his mother noticed he was missing.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we must report that Aaron Pena was found, deceased, in a body of water not far from his home,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. “We are grieving his loss and our prayers are with his family.”