The search for 4-year-old Florida girl who disappeared from her Port St. Lucie home ended tragically Monday morning when police reportedly recovered her body from a nearby retention pond.
Chelsea Noel allegedly walked out of her home at around 10 p.m. Saturday. Police believe the girl, who had autism and was nonverbal, became disorientated and ran straight into the pond, according to WPEC.
A U.S. Marshal in a kayak reportedly found the girl around midnight Sunday. TCPalm reported that she was removed from the pond early Monday morning. A medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine an exact cause of death.
Port St. Lucie police spokesman Master Sergeant Frank Sabol revealed that surveillance cameras caught Chelsea leaving the home and her father, Remy Noel, exiting the residence at least 40 seconds later.
“I don’t think they did anything wrong. I just think through the course of life, situations will happen and this just turned out to be a tragic situation,” Sabol said.
“It seems like they were excellent parents and they did everything they could for her.”
Residents, the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Martin County Sheriff’s Office took part in the massive search. Despite the tragic outcome, Remy thanked authorities and volunteers for their work.
“I want to say thanks to everybody for their outpouring of support. It was overwhelming,” the heartbroken dad said.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more. I believe they did everything.”
Reporters caught a family friend comforting Remy as he broke down mere feet from where his young daughter drowned.
He said, “I love you, I love you, I love you, Chelsea.”
[Featured Image: Chelsea Noel/Port St. Lucie Police Department]