Missing 6-year-old Lakeland boy with special needs found dead in pond – WFLA

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has confirmed the 6-year-old boy officials searched for Friday night has been found dead in a retention pond near his home.

Adam Roach was found in the pond directly behind his home at 10:40 p.m. by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office dive team, assisted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

A death investigation will be conducted.

No further updates are available at this time.

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing, endangered boy.  

Deputies are actively searching for six-year-old Adam Roach, of Lakeland, who was reported missing by his mother Friday at 4 pm.

Roach is described as a white male with short brown hair and a missing front tooth.  He is 4’03” and weighs approximately 37 pounds.  He was last seen wearing a dark blue shirt with dinosaurs on it and dark blue shorts.

Roach is a non-verbal special needs child.

During a news briefing, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Roach has left the apartment before.

Judd said the child functions at about an 18-month-old child’s age.

“We need the people in the community that live in a three mile perimeter…to go out in their back yard and look in their swimming pool, underneath their cars… any place they may have in their yard that he may hide,” Judd said.

Multiple agencies, including air and K-9 teams are searching for him at the Carlton Arms Apartment complex on Shepherd Road in south Lakeland. They’re advising the public to avoid the area at this time.

Crews are searching four retention ponds that surround the apartment complex. Judd said at least one of the ponds is 11 feet deep.

Thursday, Roach’s grandmother walked him around the ponds to a swimming pool.

Officials fear Roach left his home wanting to go back to the swimming pool.

Judd confirmed that the sheriff’s department is not dealing with a domestic issue and all family members are accounted for.

“We will be here until we find him. And it’s our prayer that we find him safe. But we fear the worst at this point in this investigation.”

A Florida Department of Law Enforcement Missing Child Alert was issued for Roach at 9:47 p.m. Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.




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