Divers have found the body of a child in the search for a 6-year-old boy who went missing in Aurora, Colorado, Dec. 31.
Although a positive identification of the body has not yet been provided, authorities believe it is David Puckett, KDVR reported.
David went missing from his home at around 5:30 p.m. and a major search operation was carried out in the local area over subsequent days.
“I have the very unfortunate news of letting you know that in a pond … that we found the body of what appears to be a child inside the pond underneath the ice,” police chief Nick Metz told a press conference, according to KDVR. “At this time, we cannot give a positive indication on the child. However, because of this information and our suspicion, I had the unfortunate experience of having to inform David’s family of what we had found.”
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The search operation set up a base at David’s elementary school. Students are due to arrive back from winter break. Jan. 4 and the school has promised to have grief counselors on hand.
“Although we don’t have a positive identification, the family is devastated,” Metz added.
Searchers were led to the location by bloodhound dogs involved in the operation. But initially, they did not expect to find a body in the pond because there were no cracks in the ice.
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“Even the family members said they had gone around it and didn’t see anything,” added Metz.
The pond is being investigated as a crime scene. It is located just two blocks from David’s home.
Police do not believe that any foul play was involved. They noted that David had wandered from home on a previous occasion before being found by a neighbor.
Stephanie Pucket, David’s mother, appeared at a press conference Jan. 1 to appeal for public support in the search.
“Please bring my baby home,” she said, according to KMGH. “Please help me find him.”
An estimated 150 personnel from multiple agencies and more than 200 volunteers took part in the search. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert for David Jan. 2.