Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

Autistic boy, 9, drowns after wandering off from IKEA

An autistic child was found dead in the water after going missing at a Brooklyn IKEA.

New York Police Department (NYPD) officers began a frantic search began for the child after he went missing on Wednesday around 8.58pm at the furniture store’s marquee location in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The child’s parents identified him as a nine-year-old male, who was autistic and non-verbal.

After investigating, NYPD detectives found security camera footage of the child exiting the store and walking towards the Erie Basin Pier, close to where IKEA operates a ferry to shuttle customers to and from Manhattan.

Detectives also found ‘articles of clothing’ belonging to the child in the body of water, and a search was started by NYPD divers, aircraft, drones, and search dogs.

The child’s orange Crocs were also found floating in the waterway, police sources told the New York Daily News.

The boy was finally located at the edge of the basin around 12.12am early on Thursday morning. First responders removed the child from the water and transported him to Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1.16am.

An investigation into the child’s death is ongoing, the NYPD said.

The child is not the first person to be found dead in New York’s waterways this year.

In May, two adolescent children were found dead in the Hudson and Harlem Rivers after going missing days earlier. They were last seen exploring a hole in a fence near the waterfront in East Harlem.

Earlier this summer, two concertgoers were found dead in the Newtown Creek after going to shows at the Brooklyn Mirage in East Williamsburg.

The first victim, 27-year-old Karl Clemente, was reported missing after he was turned away by a doorman at the Mirage in early June.

The second, Goldman Sachs senior analyst John Castic, disappeared after telling his friends he was returning home in an Uber.

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