A search involving almost 300 people for Xavion Young, 7, who went missing Sunday from a Texas City apartment complex, ended Monday evening when police found the body of a male child in a pond near the boy’s home, officials said.
Officials confirmed about 6 p.m. they had found the body in a retention pond southeast of the Costa Mariposa Apartment Homes, 7555 Medical Center Drive, where Young lived, Texas City Police Department spokesman Allen Bjerke said.
The identity of the body had not been confirmed at that time, but police had suspended the search, Bjerke said.
“The search has been suspended until they can confirm if this is actually him or not,” Bjerke said.
About 140 volunteers and 140 law enforcement personnel from 16 local and state agencies joined the search for Young on Sunday and Monday, with dive teams, search dogs, mounted volunteers and helicopters, police said.
By 4 p.m. Monday, police were expanding their search for Young, who was described as autistic, Texas City Police Chief Joe Stanton said.
Reecey DeRouen, Young’s mother, noticed in less than 10 minutes her son was missing, she said.
“I walked this whole apartment complex myself, every nook, every cranny,” DeRouen said. “I drove around. I searched everywhere screaming his name.”
Young went missing when DeRouen went to the restroom, DeRouen said. She believed her son had wandered outside, where he liked to feed a goose, she said.
“That’s how people know my son,” DeRouen said. “The boy with the goose.”
Young is a second-grader at La Marque Primary School and has two sisters, 11 and 2 years old, DeRouen said.
Police had issued an Endangered Missing Persons Alert for the 7-year-old through the Texas Department of Public Safety, police said.
The alert is triggered for missing people with intellectual disabilities, while an AMBER Alert is issued for children who are suspected of being kidnapped, according to the department website.
Between 2007 and 2017, 952 children with autism were reported missing to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the center’s website.
About 74 percent of those children were recovered within one week, according to the center’s site.