The search for six-year-old David Puckett, who went missing from his Aurora, Colorado, home on New Year’s Eve, has led investigators to a child’s body, pulled from an icy pond near Puckett’s home. Police have not yet made a positive identification on the body, but they and the family are fearing the worst.
Aurora police chief Nick Metz made the announcement in a news conference Tuesday.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Puckett, who has a minor learning disability, had wandered away from his home at about 5:30 on December 31, wearing a a T-shirt, pants, boots, and a coat that his mother, Stephanie, later said was not sufficient for being outside in freezing temperatures. The family reported him missing an hour after they lost track of him, and local volunteers joined the police search for the little boy, who had wandered off before. On Monday, the search was intensified as FBI agents and bloodhounds joined the effort.
An Amber alert was not issued until late Monday, two days after David disappeared. The area around the pond where the body was found had been searched over the weekend, and no one saw signs of broken ice. “Even the family members said they had gone around it and didn’t see anything,” Metz said in the news conference. Only after specialty dogs were brought into the search on Monday night was there any indication there was anything in the pond.
Police are treating the pond and the area around it as a crime scene, although there is currently no indication of foul play.