A missing young boy with Down Syndrome and non-verbal autism has been found dead hours after he vanished from his home.
8-year-old Landon ‘Waldy’ Raber from Curdsville, Virginia, went missing on Sunday evening, whereas his family reported his disappearance at around 8.45 pm.
The missing child report sparked a massive search and fears that the child could get hurt by wandering around alone at night.
On Monday morning, at around 5.30 am, the search came to a halt after the boy’s lifeless body was discovered in a pond near New Store Road.
“Our hearts are shattered,” a family friend said as tributes to the bubbly young boy began pouring in.
“After an all-night search, this precious boy was found to be safe in the arms of Jesus. A bright light has left this earth, but Heaven is that much brighter now and Landon is running and laughing and free from all pain!
“Landon, aka ‘Waldy,’ changed so many lives in his 6 years, and the Waldy’s ice cream truck his family owned help raise awareness and support for children with autism and down syndrome.”
Speaking out after the search for the missing child came to a tragic end was also Buckingham County Sheriff William G. Kidd Jr. who thanked the rescuers participating in the search.
“This is a very tragic and unfortunate incident. We as a community grieve this loss,” he said.
“I do want to personally thank all who participated in the search efforts to include the fire departments and the many local residents who came to lend a hand.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to each and every one of you. I, as well as the community, extend our thoughts and prayers to the family for their loss.”
Our thoughts are with Landon’s family during these challenging times.
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