Missing 6-year-old Florida boy with special needs found dead in pond

POLK COUNTY, FL (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.

Roach was a non-verbal special needs child.

Roach’s parents called the Sheriff’s Office around 4 p.m. Friday.

“They actually heard the door open and close, and though it was one of the other children. It was just a matter of minutes. Of course, then they scrambled outside and looked for him,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

The search for Roach lasted almost seven hours. Sheriff K9 units and a helicopter were used.

Roach was found not far from his home.

“Little Adam was not 50 feet from the back door of his house in a lake, a retention pond if you will. It appears at this time, and this is all preliminary information at this time, that he walked out the front door and around the corner of his apartment complex and directly into the retention pond,” said Judd.Sheriff Judd says they believe Roach may have been trying to go to the pool. His grandmother took him there on Thursday to play.

A death investigation will be conducted.

Roach was a student at Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary School. Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd released this statement:

Adam Roach was, as we say within the district, ‘one of ours.’ He had just completed kindergarten at Roberts Elementary, and faculty and staff at the school were looking forward to seeing him when school starts next week. He was a precious child lost much too soon, and we are all grieving. He and his family are in our prayers. We will have grief counselors on site at the school on Monday and when school begins on Thursday to assist employees and students.”

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